Thurston: The number that most shames Maroons
Maroons legend Johnathan Thurston says the 176 total passes made by Queensland in State of Origin Game 2 is the damning number that sums up the record thumping handed out in Perth.
NSW inflicted the second biggest ever defeat on Queensland at Optus Stadium on Sunday night, prompting Thurston to declare it one of the worst Queensland performances he's seen in "a very long time".
Thurston singled out the Maroons' engine room forwards and the players that failed to provide a spark coming off the bench.
The North Queensland great admits star trio Daly Cherry-Evans, Cameron Munster and Ben Hunt struggled in Game 2 - particularly their kicking games - but believes it was only because the Maroons' pack was whipped by the Blues' enforcers.
He says the weak performance from the Maroons' pack resulted in Queensland playing a style of football "from the 80s".
When asked if Queensland has the cattle to win Game 3, Thurston called for changes to be made to the Maroons' pack for the series decider at ANZ Stadium.
"Not from what I've seen," Thurston told Nine's 100% Footy on Monday night.
"Which is disappointing and it's hard. I think there will be changes. I don't think we got enough from our bench. Our pack either. We just got beaten up everywhere. The boys have forced the coaching staff's hand.
"The stat for me, while it was wet, was total passes between the two sides. The Blues had 231 and Queensland had 176 so they backed their skill set even though it was wet.
"It feels like we were playing in the 80s."
He said Walters' post-match explosion where was "warranted".
Walters blew up at his team's kick-off routine at the start of the game where debutant Daniel Saifiti was able to bring the ball back to the 20m line after a slow chase and dreadful kick.
"I haven't seen a Queensland side put in a performance like that for a very long time," Thurston said.
"It was very disappointing."
Cranky Queensland mentor Walters let loose on his side after the game, threatening to swing the axe following their horror State of Origin II loss in Perth.
But shattered captain Cherry-Evans said whomever ran out for the Maroons in July 10's series decider would have a "fire in the belly" as word of Walters' angry post-match outburst filtered into the dressing room.
Walters raised eyebrows when he adopted the philosophy of mind coach Bradley Charles Stubbs ahead of the 2019 series.
However, there was no sign of the self proclaimed Coach Whisperer's "Expect to Win" attitude when Walters vented his frustratio nover their nightmare 38-6 game two loss at Optus Stadium.
At one stage Walters dropped the "F-bomb" as he declared the team's kick-off "f***ing p***ed me off".
Walters then threatened to go one step further and break a key foundation of Queensland's culture - ditching loyalty and making changes for the series decider in Sydney.
It did not take long for word of Walters' spray to reach a forlorn Maroons dressing room.
"When you have that amount of points put on you it is no secret that you have to improve defensively and I was led to believe (from Walters' comments) that was more of an attitude area so we will take that on board," Cherry-Evans said.
"We need to be better with our effort out on the field and we need to certainly be more motivated come game three.
"But I have no doubt there will be no lack of motivation for the next game... because it certainly hurts a lot.
"But I have the fire in the belly now going into a decider."
NSW coach Brad Fittler drew plenty of criticism in game two's build-up after making seven team changes.
Now Walters is under pressure to pick and stick as Queensland attempt to regroup in search of their 12th series win in 14years.
The Maroons pack will be most nervous with just one forward - Felise Kaufusi - running more than 100m.
Joe Ofahengaue and Christian Welch are set to come under consideration. And in the backline, centres Michael Morgan and Will Chambers combined for 11 missed tackles.
"I am glad I am not a selector. But whatever team they pick for game three I will have a lot of belief in it and I can't wait to get into camp already," Cherry-Evans said after his first loss as Origin captain.
- with AAP