Gracious Ricky admits Maroons 'too good' - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Gracious Ricky admits Maroons 'too good'

Laine Clark 07/07/2011 07:31:52 AM Comments (0)

The real NSW coach Ricky Stuart finally stood up after his bold bid to end Queensland's State of Origin dominance crashed and burned on Wednesday night.

A man who revelled in mind games throughout the three-game series simply told it like it was after Queensland clinched a sixth straight series with a 34-24 win at Suncorp Stadium.

Barely a week after claiming Queensland would launch a dirty tricks campaign to disrupt his team's Origin III preparation, a gracious Stuart dipped his hat to the Maroons.

"I think we found a way to beat Queensland. We rattled their cage," he said.

"But they bounced back extremely well - they were the better team and they deserve all the credit.

"They are just great players. When you are not coaching against them, they are beautiful to watch."

Still Stuart could find plenty of positives despite retiring Queensland skipper Darren Lockyer receiving a fitting farewell.

"These boys have done some monumental things in regards to State of Origin for NSW," he said.

"It has been difficult for the last five years for us but we had Queensland nervous - and I am being respectful. I am not trying to discredit what Queensland have done.

"But Queensland had been very dominant and I think these (NSW) boys have pulled back a lot of respect for their state.

"They have done an enormous job for Origin football but also NSW."

In Stuart's worst nightmare, Queensland jumped to a 24-0 first-half lead after the Maroons enjoyed 80 per cent of possession after 35 minutes.

But by halftime, NSW had cut the deficit to 24-10 with two tries in three minutes.

"You can't turn over that much football to any football team, let alone that team we were playing," he said.

"I am really disappointed we didn't play well.

"You don't deserve anything in Origin. You have to fight for it.

"You have to be good at all the little things and we weren't tonight.

"The simplest stat is possession and we haveto be better than that.

"The start of the game was going to be so important to us - we knew Queensland was going to try and blow us away early, and we did everything we possibly could to help them do that.

"We scored enough points to win. We just didn't have enough football.

"But don't get me wrong - hats off to what Mal (Meninga) and his players have done."

Stuart launched a charm offensive from the outset after the game, immediately asking the media at the post-match media conference about Queensland's injured halfback Johnathan Thurston, who went off with a serious knee injury.

He also felt for NSW hooker Michael Ennis who went off midway through the first half after coughing up blood.

Ennis later underwent scans but Stuart played down the seriousness of the injury.

But in all, Stuart said he loved his Origin experience and couldn't wait to do it again.

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