“We’re Queenslanders”: Slater reflects on State of Origin II thrashing

27/06/2024
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“We’re Queenslanders”: Slater reflects on State of Origin II thrashing

Maroons boss Billy Slater spoke to the press after Queensland’s 38-18 loss to NSW in State of Origin Game II at Melbourne Cricket Ground

News Insights

  • “We’re still Queenslanders,” Slater said to rally his current side.
  • Slater revealed that Tabuai-Fidow had “done an AC.”
  • Blues second-rower Martin was not sent off after performing a dangerous lifting tackle on Maroons middle forward Cotter.
  • State of Origin Game III is July 17 at 8:05 PM, hosted at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane.

Queensland boss Billy Slater did not hide from the press after his side’s disastrous 38-18 loss to Michael Maguire’s New South Wales team. The 41-year-old former     Melbourne Storm fullback addressed the Maroon’s poor performance, Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow’ injury status, and what his squad needs to do better in State of Origin Game III after the Game II defeat. 

“We’re still Queenslanders” 

When asked after the terrible performance of his side after Game II, Billy Slater had just three words: “We’re still Queenslanders,” Slater said to rally his current side and referencing the Maroons’ policy of picking one roster and sticking to it for the entire State of Origin Series.  
 
After dismissing the need for wholesale changes, Slater admitted that his staff would be looking at things they could improve on before Game III.  
 
“I think Chez (Cherry-Evans) got hit off the ball once there that I can remember but the game was moving so fast, you know we are a fair away up there (in the coaches box).” Slater said, talking about the overall tempo of the match.  
 
“We’ll find a whole heap of stuff in our review. I’ll go over a lot of angles and that sort of stuff. I’ll do my job but yeah I might make a comment on that later maybe.” 
 
The Maroons boss then focused on the positives, mainly the fact that they gave up just one try in the second half.  
 
“I thought the second half was quite good. I thought our actions, the way we started the second half, we went after our footy a bit more. We were patient. We weren’t looking for shortcuts to draw back the scoreline.” 
 
One casualty of the second half was Maroons star Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow. The Dolphins man left the match 40 minutes into the second half. Slater revealed that Tabuai-Fidow had “done an AC.” He will likely miss Game III. 

Maroons’ fans scream foul play 

Outside of the Maroons’ harsh loss and the injury to Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow, one of the biggest talking points coming out of Game II was Liam Martin’s tackle on Reuben Cotter in the 36th minute of the match. The Blues second-rower, Martin, was not sent off after performing a dangerous lifting tackle on Maroons middle forward Cotter. 
 
This was the second straight match in which a Maroons player performed a “dirty hit” on a Blues player after Joseph-Aukuso Suaalii’s tackle on Reece Walsh in Game I.  
 
Slater did not comment on the tackle, but fans and pundits alike called out referee Ashley Klein for not giving Martin his marching orders. Former Blues star Andrew Johns was one of the biggest critics of the decision.  
 
It is looking like Game III will be yet another tense affair between these two sides.  

State of Origin Game III is July 17 at 8:05 PM, hosted at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane. The early betting markets are evenly split on who will win this final showcase. PlayUp gives both the Blues and Maroons $1.90 odds to win the 2024 State of Origin. 

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