Michael Morgan of the Queensland Maroons during game one of the State of Origin series.
Michael Morgan of the Queensland Maroons during game one of the State of Origin series. DAVE HUNT

Under-fire Maroons deserve another chance, says Morgan

THE baying for Maroon blood has already begun, but Michael Morgan believes Queensland's veterans have enough credits in the bank to deserve a shot at redemption in Origin II in Sydney.

The Maroons are likely to bring in some fresh faces after their forward pack was bullied 28-4 by an Andrew Fifita-inspired New South Wales, Queensland's biggest-ever loss in Brisbane.

Morgan will back up for the Cowboys against the Titans in Townsville on Saturday after getting through 52 minutes of game time off the bench unscathed, but centre Justin O'Neill is set to miss after leaving the field with concussion.

Blues forwards Fifita, David Klemmer, Boyd Cordner and Aaron Woods all ran for more metres than Maroons leader Josh McGuire (114 metres) and dominated the middle third.

Cowboys youngster Coen Hess and Titans prop Jarrod Wallace have an ideal chance to impress Queensland selectors on Saturday, with the likes of Aidan Guerra, Nate Myles and Jake Lillyman in the firing line.

But Morgan doesn't believe mass changes are needed up front to keep the series alive at ANZ Stadium on June 21.

"There was calls for that after the team was named as well," Morgan said.

"People are going to have their own opinions, that's their choice, but I back everyone that was there last night to go to Sydney and do a job.

"The guys that were in that side, you don't want to write them off. They've shown they can do it for a long time now, and I have full confidence they can get the job done in the second game."

Morgan said a try to Mitchell Pearce in the final seconds of the first half was a critical blow to Queensland, which had worked its way back to a 6-4 deficit after one of the quickest 40 minutes Origin has seen.

"There was probably a 10-minute period where it really got away and they got three tries in a row, it was pretty disappointing," Morgan said.

Maroons coach Kevin Walter was non-committal after the match when asked if Cowboys talisman Johnathan Thurston would be fit to return from a shoulder injury in Origin II.

"I thought he'd be back for game one, so I have no idea," Morgan said.

"He was down there (Brisbane) training all week and getting physio twice a day, doing whatever he can to get back.

"(But) he's not going to stop 28 points. It's disappointing but it's only one game."

News Corp Australia

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