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Walters: Thurston might not be back for Origin II

06 June 2017

"To be honest she's told me to follow my dreams and my dream is to win an Origin series", Fifita said.

Likewise, Queensland halfback Cooper Cronk tested the NSW backline with several first-half bombs, with little success.

However, the sport's dominance has slipped somewhat, with ratings slightly down on last season's record-breaking Game One.

He attended team meetings, including the "captain's run" training session at Suncorp Stadium and an emotional presentation from Maroons captain Cameron Smith on Tuesday night.

"With all due respect to Billy, if Billy plays last night, I don't think it changes the scoreline dramatically", Walters said.

"We'll have a look, I'm not going to make any decisions tonight or anything", Walters said.

Though Queensland has prided itself on loyalty, Meninga never let sentiment trump the ongoing health of the team.

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But it was James Tedesco and Fifita who stole the show for NSW setting up the tries and ending the half, 12-4.

In only his second Origin game, Tedesco proved nearly impossible to stop, bagging a try and setting up another as he rediscovered his mojo. "Our forward pack was enormous and they had it over them for most of the time", said stand-off James Maloney, who scored a try and kicked four goals.

Since the introduction of the three game format in 1982, the team that has won the opener has gone on to win the series 26 times out of 35 - including seven in the past eight.

Just as that match at the MCG two years ago was a false dawn for the Blues, it was also false start in Pearce's Origin redemption - something Jonathan Thurston famously reminded him of in game three.

In injury news, Queensland will monitor prop Nate Myles (elbow) and Milford while NSW will sweat on hooker Nathan Peats (corked thigh).

THE endearing spirit of big Artie lives on in State of Origin.

Making his first appearance for NSW since 2014, Hayne picked up nearly right where he left off with an impressive display.

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Unfortunately, after a sickening collision with Will Chambers early in the second half, there won't be much from Wednesday night's game Pearce will remember. "This was both. You were getting closer to the players than ever before by knowing things like how fast they were travelling and also innovation in terms being able to tap into Global Positioning System trackers in real time", Malone said.

A slick move down the left then put Jarryd Hayne over with Queensland in disarray, while late pressure from the Maroons went unrewarded as the Blues produced defensive excellence to match their attacking threat.

Gagai's performance on the wing may make selectors reluctant to shift him but something's got to give for Slater to return.

He certainly played like a man at peace with himself, contributing to the Blues' second-half pile-on of tries with a sizzling run down the left. "Honestly, I didn't see it", Daley said.

"We've got to sort that out with our ruck boys more than anything, before we can do too much".

"I don't think they're vulnerable".

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