QLD Pacific island fans left disappointed by Blues flogging in first State of Origin match in Townsville

Turbo Tom is Queensland's nightmare fuel. Picture: NRL.

BRISBANE, 11 JUNE 2021 (ABC)—Queensland face an 18-day mission to find a way to stop NSW’s turbo- charged attack after Daly Cherry-Evans rated Tom Trbojevic as rugby league’s best player.

The Blues’ 50-6 flogging of Queensland in Wednesday night’s series opener was their biggest ever win in the State of Origin arena.

Trbojevic wasn’t alone as NSW’s rookies stood up, Nathan Cleary had one of his best games in a Blues jersey and Latrell Mitchell announced his return to Origin.

But he still looms as the biggest threat to Queensland in their must-win Lang Park clash, after scoring a hat- trick and setting up another try in 25 dangerous touches.  Voted man-of-the-match by Kangaroos selectors, Trbojevic defended at right centre but managed to pop up everywhere in attack.

When including NRL football at Manly, Trbojevic has now scored 11 tries and set up 14 in just eight games this year, prompting questions over whether he’s the game’s best player when fit.

“Yeah (he’s the best). He couldn’t be far off, if he’s not,” Queensland and Manly captain Cherry-Evans said.

The result left many Pacific Island Maroons fans in Townsville, which was hosting the match, bitterly disappointed. Joji Waqasasa, the president of the Fijian Association in Townsville helped organise a “big screen event” near the stadium with food stalls and other entertainment so that the community could watch the match together.

“I expected the Blues to win…but I didn’t expect it to be that big of a margin last night,” he said. He said the Maroons performance meant many fans didn’t stick around for the result.

“It started pretty well but as soon as the Blues started scoring the tries, and after second half…people started going back to their houses,” he said.

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