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Westpac NSW Blues team advisor Greg Alexander said the team welcomed the challenge of taking on the Maroons on their home turf and keeping the 2023 Ampol State of Origin series alive.

He said it was not an impossible task albeit the Blues were trailing 0-1 in the three-game series after a 26-18 loss at Adelaide Oval on Wednesday (31 May) night.

“No it’s not impossible and we look forward to the challenge,” Alexander said from Adelaide before the Westpac NSW Blues returned home to Sydney.

“If you’re going to win Origin you might as well beat Queensland in Brisbane.”

Game Two is at Suncorp Stadium on Wednesday 21 June with Game Three at Sydney’s Accor Stadium on Wednesday 12 July.

“Certainly disappointing (last night’s result). We knew that Game One was important but there’s still two left,” he said.

He addressed the criticism being directed at experienced players halfback Nathan Cleary and fullback James Tedesco for not controlling the match better.

“I thought Nathan played well – I know he will get some criticism from some corners but I thought Nathan was very good last night,” Alexander said.

“I thought Ted was good too.

“There was a struck match between the two sides.”

The lead changing four times in the second half before the 68th minute when Maroons prop Tom Flegler was sent to the sin-bin.

“The final 10 minutes were handled better by Queensland than our side,” he said.

“It was a very scratchy start from the boys but to fight back and get a two-point advantage after Nathan kicked that (third) conversion, 10 minutes to go I thought we might have been able to hang on or even add a try after a repeat set.

“You’re just not going to win an Origin game with the defensive lapses we had in that final 10 minutes.”

The defensive errors have led to some calls for Westpac NSW Blues coach Brad Fittler to make changes to the Game Two line-up.

“Haven’t thought about that yet … not sure … we’ll just get our heads around what happened, watch the game again and see what we need to do,” Alexander said.

“It’s never good watching a loss.

“But they’ll move on quick because they play (clubs) this weekend … you can’t stand still. There’s a couple of boys with a bye this weekend but most are in action.

“You’ve got to move on and get on with it. We (staff) will do the same when we come back into camp and look forward to playing Queensland in Queensland.”

Alexander also took aim at commentary that the Maroons want to win Origin more than the Blues.

“That’s been said for a long time… but no, it doesn’t mean anything.

“After a loss you do leave yourself open for criticism – that’s the way things roll.”              

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New South Wales Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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