New South Wales Blues Suffer Brutal Defeat at Hands of Queensland Maroons, Criticism of Tom Trbojevic’s Injury Response Amplified

The New South Wales Blues are facing heavy criticism following their defeat in State of Origin II, with questions being raised about the decision to replace injured Tom Trbojevic with Damien Cook. Many believe that Cameron Murray or Isaah Yeo would have been more logical choices to fill the gap.

However, Blues coach Brad Fittler and his team made the controversial decision to move Stephen Crichton to the right centre position and bring in Cook as the left centre. This choice left many spectators bewildered, as Murray has experience playing in the centres for South Sydney and Yeo has found success in the same position with the Panthers.

Legendary coach Phil Gould expressed his confusion over the decision, suggesting that a back-rower like Steve Menzies or Angus Crichton would have been a better fit. He also mentioned Young and Murray as potential options. Former Queensland coach Paul Vautin criticized Fittler’s choice, believing that Cook’s speed and agility as a dummy-half could have been better utilized in the middle of the field against tired Queensland forwards.

Fittler defended his decision, stating that he had spoken to Cook beforehand and that he believed Cook did a great job in the centre position. He acknowledged that it changed the team’s interchange strategy but refused to engage in criticism about his use of Cook.

The Maroons started the game strong, scoring controversial tries through Valentine Holmes and Murray Taulagi. Although there were doubts about the validity of these tries, Queensland’s dominance in the second half rendered those concerns insignificant. Holmes scored a second try early in the second half, followed by Tabuai-Fidow, giving the Maroons a 20-0 lead. Cook managed to score a try for the Blues, but the Maroons sealed their victory with two more tries from Xavier Coates and Jeremiah Nanai.

Despite the backlash and criticism, Fittler maintained that it was impossible to cover every position and that they did not have the necessary players to do so. The Blues will need to regroup and reassess their strategy before the next State of Origin match.

 

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