Craddock: NSW cracked the code how do QLD respond?
SEVERAL years ago Sydney's Daily Telegraph laid bare the heartbreak of New South Wales plight with a desperate back page plea to the Blues.
"Do it for the children?'' was the essence of a cheeky-funny-provocative story which contained a photo of Blues-supporting children who were growing up without ever seeing NSW win a State of Origin series.
Queensland had won eight series in a row.
The problem for Queensland is that the Blues have done it for the children. The code has been cracked.
Where once NSW had a rising generation of players who never knew what it was like to beat Queensland now they have a team who have won two in a row.
This increased self-belief is now a key weapon which Queensland must contend with next season.
No NSW player who played in Sydney on Wednesday night had ever won an Origin decider before that game and no Queensland player had ever lost one.
The Blues now believe they can do it because they have done it.
As lion-hearted as Queensland were there are several issues to be addressed before next season such as ...
THE FULLBACK ISSUE: This is actually a good problem to have. Should Kalyn Ponga or Cam Munster get the No 1 jersey. Caviar or champagne?
WILL CHAMBERS: Started the series well but for a player rated the world's best centre a year ago he has some fundamental problems which have caused the Maroons grief. Can lack finesse with his passing game - and that is when he does get around to passing. And for a robust man he misses too many tackles.
JAMES TEDESCO: There is not much you can do when he is in pristine form but Queensland have to find a way to at least keep his menace to manageable proportions otherwise they will lose again next year. Players seem to hang off him as if he is Michael Flatley and they are watching him dance. Can he be starved of the ball? Do you double or triple team him? Nothing is off the table.
SLOW STARTS: Queensland started as if they were shot out of a cannon on Wednesday but their starts in the opening two games were mystifyingly poor. The Sydney game should be the template for their mindset.
DAMIEN COOK: His sniping raids from dummy-half were a thorn on Queensland's seat all series. Minimising his damage must be a key priority. But Maroon fans should not despair because they can take heart in ...
DALY CHERRY EVANS: His passion and cool head make him a respected leader who should be even better next year.
BEN HUNT: Was deceptively good at hooker and should have first digs on the spot next year.
CAMERON MUNSTER: Just has a freakish ability to find thin air when others are running into brick walls.
JOSH PAPALII: Sydney was his breakthrough game when that giant frame was used for maximum impact.