[News] Blues’ Origin selection moves won’t distract Slater

Fittler claimed there were 70 more play-the-balls in the series opener compared with the NRL game average, and was left concerned after Queensland were crucially able to control the speed of the play-the-ball while defending.

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“I thought the game was played at really quick speeds,” Slater said.

“Well above NRL speed and an entertaining game; you want to play fast with the football, you want to play slow without it.

“My priority is getting our players to play their best football. The ref’s have their job, I’ll be focusing on my job.”

Slater’s bench manoeuvres also caught the Blues out, with hooker Harry Grant and forward Pat Carrigan dominating through the middle 60 minutes after earlier-than-expected entries.

“There is a challenge for all of us to back it up, me included,” Slater said of the predicted response.

“It was a great game; I went home afterwards and sat on the couch and watched the build-up and the game as a Queenslander.

“It just brings so much emotion and anticipation to the lounge room.

“Even watching on replay I was emotional and in the moment and it’s going to get better [in Perth].”

QUEENSLAND TEAM FOR ORIGIN II

Kalyn Ponga, Selwyn Cobbo, Valentine Holmes, Dane Gagai, Murray Taulagi, Cameron Munster, Daly Cherry-Evans (capt), Lindsay Collins, Ben Hunt, Josh Papalii, Kurt Capewell, Felise Kaufusi, Tino Fa’asuamaleaui. Interchange: Harry Grant, Patrick Carrigan, Jai Arrow, Jeremiah Nanai. Reserves: Tom Dearden, Beau Fermor, Thomas Flegler, Reece Walsh, Corey Oates.

with AAP

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