New Queensland coach Paul Green has revealed a concerning aspect of the Maroons’ preparation in the lead-up to their Game One thumping in Townsville.
Queensland were humbled in the record-setting 50-6 loss to the Blues in front of a sold-out, majority Maroon-clad crowd.
After the game, in response to a question about their preparation, Green lamented that some of their training before Game One may not have been up to scratch.
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The coach suggested his lack of experience with the team could have prevented him in holding players to a higher standard before the series opener.
“It’s a new group in some respects. New coach with me,” Green began, in his post-match press conference.
“What I probably might have let go through the week in terms of execution, I may not have if I had a bit more of a bond with the team … bond might not be the right word, but if I had a bit more experience with them.
“But as I said, it is what it is, it’s about learning from it and making sure we don’t let it happen again.”
Those comments raised alarm bells north of the border, with Sydney Morning Herald journalist Phil Lutton underlining Green’s concerns about what he saw in training.
Green described the defeat as “disappointing” but would not be baited into hinting at the changes that would be made to the squad before Game Two.
“That’s not for tonight. We’ll have a look at the game closely and also have a look at our prep too and see if there’s anything glaring that we got wrong,” he told reporters post-game.
“From the kickoff we weren’t in the contest.”
There were a handful of fitness concerns that rocked the Maroons team in the opener with Kalyn Ponga the biggest out, and an injury cloud hung over five-eighth Cameron Munster.
However Green refused to “make any soft excuses” for their Game One capitulation and was eager to get the team back on track in Game Two.
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“If you look at improving just a couple of key areas, in particular defensively, I’m not talking about tries conceded, I’m just talking about getting some control there because one thing flows into another,” he said.
“Our last play options were pretty poor because we just didn’t feel like we had any time to get set and execute properly.
“You fix a couple of those key things up a lot can flow off the back of that. But we’ve got to work hard to fix that.”
The Queenslanders will again have home ground advantage when they meet the Blues in Game Two on Sunday June 27 at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane.
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