The NSW Blues went down in a tough and brutal affair to the Queensland Maroons last night at ANZ Stadium with Queensland half Cooper Cronk nailing a field goal to secure an 11-10 victory.
We caught up with NSW Blues winger and Eels centre Will Hopoate in the sheds after the game to hear his thoughts on the physical clash.
“It was obviously devastating not coming away with the result,” Hopoate said after the game.
“But there are plenty of positives we can take from that game and hopefully build on from there.”
The Blues completed the game with 46% of possession and 61% of the second half played in the NSW half, and Hopoate noted the 59 more tackles made in the second half.
“That is one positive that we will take,” Hopoate said of the Blues defensive effort.
“It felt like we were camped on our tryline the whole second half and the boys done well to keep pushing them away from our tryline but it just wasn’t to be.”
The Maroons appeared to have a game plan to bomb to the Blues right edge but Hopoate remained calm and collected diffusing their attacks for the entire 80 minutes.
“Thanks to J.Moz (Josh Morris) and a few of the other boys, they were able to escort me and make the catch,” Hopoate said.
“Josh is awesome to play outside of. He is a great defensive centre and a great centre all round so hopefully I get another chance and if I do I will enjoy it.”
State of Origin heads to the Melbourne Cricket Ground on 17 June and Hopoate said the Blues will not need to make drastic changes to turn things around in game two.
“I don’t think there is too much we need to change,” Hopoate said.
“There will obviously be a few adjustments we need to make in maybe our defence and executing well when we get the chance.”