Blues coach Brad Fittler has taken a subtle dig at referee Ashley Klein for allowing the Maroons to slow the ruck down and gain a clear advantage in their 16-10 win in the Origin opener.
New South Wales’ halves pairing of Nathan Cleary and Jarome Luai were unable to make an impact at Accor Stadium and Fittler attributed their lacklustre performance to a slow play the ball speed.
“Playing off slow rucks is a pretty hard thing to do,” Fittler said in the post-match press conference.
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Fittler was pressed on why his side could not get quick ball and responded by praising the Maroons for playing to the refereeing.
“I think they did a good job, held on tight and Ashley didn’t want to give penalties away, I think we got a penalty with 17 minutes to go was the first,” he said.
“They did a great job, they worked hard there and won the ruck.”
Meanwhile, Queensland duo Cameron Munster and Daly Cherry-Evans were two of the best players on the field and Fittler believed the Blues should have adopted similar tactics.
“We should have done a better job, we should have held them down longer, simple,” Fittler said.
When asked why he believed Billy Slater’s side were able to come away with the victory in the series opener, again it came down to the ruck.
“Not sure, not sure, I thought they won the ruck, I thought they were really good there,” Fittler said.
“I think generally they just won the ruck, took some time out of that.”
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