‘Very disappointed’ Josh Papalii accepts blame for State of Origin defeat

Queensland Maroons prop Josh Papalii concedes he was “very disappointed” with his performance in Wednesday evening’s loss to the New South Wales Blues.

The State of Origin series is tied at 1-1 after the Blues secured a comfortable 34-10 victory at ANZ Stadium in Sydney.

Papalii scored a try in the 62nd minute, but found himself in the sin bin after an ugly hair-pulling incident in the second half.

The 28-year-old lost his temper when tackling NSW forward Angus Crichton, grabbing his opponent’s hair during a brief tussle.

Papalii gained just 75 metres in an uncharacteristically quiet performance, and feels personally responsible for the 24-point defeat.

“We started well, but I felt like we let them off the hook pretty easy. You can’t give Teddy (James Tedesco) and (Cody) Walker the easy ball they had. We were always going to pay,” Papalii said.

“I feel like a lot of that was my fault, not setting the platform for Chez (Daly Cherry-Evans) and Ben Hunt to play off.

“I’m the oldest in the middle and I was very disappointed in my performance. I need to be better and get the young boys on the back of that.”

Josh Papalii of the Maroons.Source:Getty Images

Although he avoided a suspension for the incident, Papalii believes he has set a poor example for younger players in the Queensland squad.

“I just went into a little bit of ‘red head’. I lost control and the sense of where the game was,” Papalii said.

“As an older bloke, little examples like that aren’t fair to the younger boys coming through. I definitely need to be better.

“I don’t want to take anything away from New South Wales, they played well and they’re on the brink of winning three series in a row and we need to make it not happen.”

The Maroons can clinch the 2020 Origin series when they lost the Blues at Suncorp Stadium on Wednesday evening.

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