PRIDE DENTED: Bundaberg's Felise Kaufusi in Perth for game two on Sunday night.
PRIDE DENTED: Bundaberg's Felise Kaufusi in Perth for game two on Sunday night. DAVE HUNT

KEEP STATUS QUO: Antonio has his say after game two

LEAGUE: Former Maroon Antonio Kaufusi believes Queensland selectors should not make too many changes despite the side's worst loss in years on Sunday night.

The State of Origin series is heading to New South Wales for a deciding match on July 10 after the Blues smashed Queensland 38-6 in Perth to level the series.

Blues centre Tom Trbojevic scored a hat-trick as New South Wales recorded its biggest win in 2005.

Antonio's brother, Felise Kaufusi, also a Bundy product, was one of the shining lights for the Maroons team, playing well in defence and gaining more than 100m with the ball.

But Antonio said he had expected the result.

"I felt in the lead-up we were going to get smashed,” he told the NewsMail.

"It's a danger game for the other team, trying to wrap it up, as the other team will want it more to stay alive.

"I thought that the changes (NSW) made would see them fight and claw their way to victory, which they did.”

Antonio said while the squad was outplayed there was one area that hurt the team the most.

"I thought we lacked that punch in the forwards,” he said.

"New South Wales were a mobile team that had good leg speed.

"They were up in our faces and we didn't have that leg speed that got us going.”

Antonio said the changes he would make involved both Jai Arrow and Joe Ofahengaue.

If both were fit after being injured for game two, he'd have them coming back.

"We missed someone of (Arrow's) calibre,” he said.

"The leg speed and the quick play the ball was something we lacked and he provided it.

"We lost a lot of go going forward.”

Antonio said Brad Fittler's decision at the selection table to make seven changes was a masterstroke.

But he was confident Maroons coach Kevin Walters had the squad capable of getting the job done without doing the same.

"A lot of players really disappointed,” he said.

"But it could be a blessing in disguise.

"The pride has been dented so usually they naturally expect to fire in the next game.”

MORE: PAGE 26



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