A year after getting upset by “the worst Queensland team in history”, NSW have turned it around in 2021 as they could honestly be seen as the greatest Blues side in history.
Playing the first two games of the series, after losing what many considered an unlosable series in 2020, the Blues have been unstoppable with a 50-6 win in game one and wrapping the series 26-0.
The only problem with the two game shellacking is probably the opposition this side is against.
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Queensland skipper Daly Cherry-Evans was in tears at full-time as the Blues not only beat the Maroons, they spanked them in their own fortress.
It’s not what the rugby league world is used to.
It was the Blues’ biggest win over the Maroons at Suncorp Stadium in State of Origin and the first time they’ve kept Queensland scoreless at the ground. It’s also the first time since 1994 the Maroons were kept scoreless in an Origin game.
While a 2-0 series win is one thing, it’s how the side have done it.
The Blues lead the series after two games 76-6 and Queensland have never looked close to being in the contest as NSW wiped them off the park, despite the first two games being played north of the Tweed.
“Strike all over the park,” Andrew Johns said in commentary as the Blues opened up the 26-0 lead.
“It’s the understanding, it’s the confidence. This team is building and building and is only going to get better and better, which is frightening.”
Although game three is up in the air with NSW’s Covid-19 outbreak, the Blues hardly need any more advantage.
A year on from the stunning upset, Anasta said “DCE and Munster, they didn’t fire a shot”.
Social media went into overdrive post game as the epic mismatch began to sink in.
Already the post-mortems were being written for the Maroons throughout the match, but the 2021 Blues were already being compared to the best Queensland have ever had to offer.
In fact, they may have been shaped by great Maroons who won 11 of 12 series between 2006 and 2017.
“I think this Blues team as it evolves is starting to emulate some of those great Queensland teams we saw when they were winning eight and 10 in a row,” Phil Gould said post-game. “Queensland had a really strong, hardworking forward back who were happy to do that and this brilliant effective back line that could score tries from anywhere on the field.
“Without this attitude in defence to be saving tries, we often say saving is better than scoring them, the Blues working as a team, there’s always more blue jerseys in the picture.
“That is protected their line as though their life depended on it. The nucleus is there. When you look at the great Queensland sides that used to beat us, hard working forwards that never got dominated. That’s what our forwards did. Our forwards were selfless. They’re happy to play their role and let Cleary ignite the rest of the players.”
League legend Peter Sterling said that there was a path for the current Blues to make a legacy that could be seen to eclipse that great side.
“Interesting you mention that great Queensland site of eight straight, I don’t want to get too far ahead and take anything away from tonight, even during that period very few clean sweeps,” he said. “If you look back through the 39 best of three series, not many clean sweeps. Great opportunity here for NSW to really stamp their authority.
Andrew Johns added: “You’ve got to remember these young guys, some older guys in the NSW team, they grew up watching the dominance of Queensland thinking, if I get my opportunity, my watch, things are gonna change. This team, if it stays together with injury and that sort of thing, it’s only gonna get better and better and better. Some of the attack tonight was breathtaking.”