Queensland embarrassed on their own stage | NRL

MEMORABLE: Laurie Daley described Wednesday night's victory as one of the greatest Origin performances from a NSW side. Photo: Ian Hitchcock/Getty Images
MEMORABLE: Laurie Daley described Wednesday night's victory as one of the greatest Origin performances from a NSW side. Photo: Ian Hitchcock/Getty Images

The Queensland Maroons have rarely, if ever, been made to look second rate. But on Wednesday night, they weren't even in the same stratosphere as the Blues up there on their home turf in Townsville.

It was a good, old-fashioned flogging and it's one thing to cop a belting, but it's another to suffer it in your own backyard in front of a big crowd made up of just about all your own fans.

It was a defeat that will leave scars, so dominant were the Blues.

It was a mighty performance from Freddy Fittler's men. The Blues didn't have a bad player - everyone contributed to one of the greatest Origin performances from a NSW side that I can recall in all my time watching our representative showpiece.

I haven't seen two centres absolutely destroy an opposition in a game like that in tandem like Tommy Trbojevic and Latrell Mitchell did. Both were in explosive form and it must have been tough trying to split them for man-of-the-match honours such was their influence on the game.

Latrell was unstoppable on the Blues left edge and gave his South Sydney teammate Dane Gagai a nightmare night, trying in vain to keep him in check. And Turbo, well, the Maroons didn't have a clue how to keep tabs on him as he bobbed up on both sides of the field in a roving role that terrorised the opposition. The speed at which NSW played the game was breathtaking and the dominance of the forward pack, led by Daniel Saifiti and Payne Haas, allowed the brilliance of the Blues halves Nathan Cleary and Jarome Luai to work their magic on the edges.

It was such a complete performance from Fittler's squad that I can't see how he can make any changes for Game 2 at Suncorp in a couple of weeks if they all stay fit and healthy.

A guy like Angus Crighton would have been there on Wednesday night had he not been suspended but I thought Tariq Sims was enormous in his absence.

As for Paul Green's Maroons, I'm not sure where they go from here. He has to make changes and he'll be sweating on Kalyn Ponga being fit to give the side some spark from fullback while Josh Papalii, a proven Origin player, will return to the frontrow following suspension to give the pack a bit more authority and confidence.

I'm not sure Kurt Capewell is the answer in the centres and maybe he has to be moved to the backrow, with Green finding someone else to try and contain Turbo.

A positive for Green will be the fact two of his best players, Cameron Munster and Harry Grant, both underdone the other night, will be much better for the run come Game 2. But will that be enough, even at Suncorp? On the strength of what we saw the other night, I doubt it.

I reckon the ruthless nature of the Blues' performance was born out of what happened last season or what didn't happen. We all thought NSW would dominate the "worst Queensland side ever" in the 2020 series but for whatever reason - complacency maybe - the Maroons turned the tables and caused a boil over. There was a steely determination in the Blues camp this time that they wanted to atone for that.

Now it's up to Queensland to respond. But even at the cauldron and with their great record there, will they be able to bridge the gap in class enough to level the series?

Even the most parochial of Queenslanders must now have their doubts about that.

Round 14 games

EAGLES v COWBOYS

Pretty simple. If Tom Trbojevic backs up from his great Origin performance, Manly win. The Cowboys are improving but away from home, they won't win this one. My tip: Eagles

SHARKS V PANTHERS

It's always buyer beware after Origin to see who backs up and who doesn't and at the time of writing this, I wasn't sure who would be on deck for the Panthers. But I still think they can take care of the Sharks in this one, provided they keep the Moylan-Johnson combination quiet. My tip: Panthers

TITANS v ROOSTERS

Even on the Gold Coast, I think the Roosters will be too resolute, tough and professional for the Titans, who have key forwards backing up and have already been one of the real disappointments. My tip: Roosters

RABBITOHS v KNIGHTS

The Knights were really disappointing on Old Boys' Day up in Newcastle last weekend and with a lot of their key men still out, I can see the Bunnies running up a decent score in this one if the game opens up. My tip: Souths

RAIDERS v BRONCOS

The Raiders are the other real disappointments with plenty going on behind the scenes down there in Canberra but after a week off and in the freezing cold down there, they will account for the Broncos. My tip: Raiders

WARRIORS v STORM

If both Munster and Grant back up, you would have to go the Storm but if they don't, I give the Warriors a hope in this one. I think it could be closer than some people think. My tip: Storm

EELS v TIGERS

Should be a really good game this one with the Tigers taking some confidence out of a couple of consecutive wins. The Eels got some of their mojo back in running up a score against the Knights and with Gutherson, Moses and Brown leading the way, may just have an edge in class. My tip: Eels

BULLDOGS v DRAGONS

I can't tip the Bulldogs in this one. The Dragons have more depth with Jack de Belin back and going well and more attacking flair through the likes of Ben Hunt, Corey Norman and particularly Matt Dufty, who was superb last weekend. My tip: Dragons