NSW captain Boyd Cordner has taken a bullet for coach Laurie Daley after the Blues slumped to their 11th series defeat in 12 years on Wednesday.
This year’s fierce State of Origin series hit somewhat of an anti-climax after Queensland pummelled the Blues into submission with a 22-6 cakewalk at Suncorp Stadium.
Other than a 10-minute period when the Blues got within six midway through the second half, Daley’s side barely held a candle against the Maroons’ near-perfect use of the ball.
“We weren’t at our best and we got ourselves back into it but then again, there was a penalty and a couple of errors when you chase points,” Daley said after the match.
“First half our completion rate wasn’t good enough. They made 1-2 errors and were at 90 per cent, and we were high 60s, 70s. We didn’t have any field position in the first half.”
Daley was left to rue a series where his squad flexed their Origin muscle in game one to convince critics that the Maroon tide was finally set to be repelled.
However the Maroons’ fought back from the death in game two to force a decider before punishing NSW for their ill-discipline in game three.
Asked who should be blamed for their inconsistency, Daley said: “I think it’s the coaches.”
But Cordner interjected to take a shot for Daley, saying the Blues great had shown plenty of faith by sticking with the same 17 players for the entire series.
“I’ll step in there. I reckon it’s the players’ (fault),” Cordner said.
“Laurie and the coaching staff have been nothing but great every time I’ve been wearing a blue jersey, especially this series and we had the same team all the way through the series.”
He said he and his teammates needed to wear the blame after missing 31 tackles to 11, making more errors, and giving away more penalties.
“It falls back on myself being the captain and the playing group as well. We played really well game one and most of game two, it was really disappointing how that ended,” he said.
“Come up here tonight and we didn’t start the game off how we planned.
“It doesn’t come back on the coaches. It’s the players. I’ll put my hand up there, we dropped too much ball, we gave them too much field position and easy penalties.
“To do that to a side like Queensland especially playing at Suncorp, you can’t do that.”