New South Wales halfback Nathan Cleary says he has taken the State of Origin loss to Queensland personally and has vowed to bounce back when the two sides clash again in game two.
The Blues are priced at 11/5 to win the series and will now have to come from behind to do so after the Maroons picked up a surprise 16-10 win in Sydney on Wednesday night.
Cleary and halves partner Jarome Luai have been impressive for Penrith this season but were not at their best against Queensland. Indeed it was Maroons duo Cameron Munster and Daly Cherry-Evans who dominated the spine.
The Blues No.7 says he just wasn’t good enough and believes that is the reason they fell short.
"I didn't play well enough and that affects the result," Cleary said after the loss. "I think you have to (take losses personally), especially as a halfback and leader in the team.
"My performance can lift others around me. I wasn't good enough tonight. I definitely didn't play the way I wanted to. I can't change what happened out there, but I can change what I do leading into the next Origin and the next club game."
Game two will be played in Perth and Cleary says the loss in game one, and his performance, is just the kick up the backside he needs.
"Sometimes it is a kick up the backside that I do need to be better," Cleary said. "You never fully have the game worked out. When you think you're going alright a game like this happens. Sometimes it's not a bad thing. It's a reality check that I need to get better."