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NRL: Fittler up for Origin challenge

New South Wales coach Brad Fittler says it will be a “tough challenge” but is backing his Blues side to bounce back and win the State of Origin series against Queensland.

The Blues lost game one 16-10 on their own patch on Wednesday night and are now priced at 11/5 to win the series.

History against them

To do that they will have to win game two in Perth and level the series, before travelling to Queensland for what would be the series decider at Brisbane’s Suncorp stadium.

Fittler knows that will be far from easy and his side will be up against it. Indeed since 1982, the Blues have only recovered from losing the opening game to win the series on three occasions.

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The omens are against the Blues, but Fittler says they will be giving it their best shot.

"It's always tough. If you lose the first one you are up against it," Fittler said. "We have got to travel to Perth and have a week's preparation there and then obviously we have got to win it in Queensland.

"Winning the game there last year give us a lot of confidence at Suncorp but it's a big challenge."

Ruck improvements needed

Fittler believes they lost game one due to their speed around the ruck, and they need to match Queensland in game two.

"I just thought Queensland did a great job, they got in tight and held on and they didn't want to give penalties away," Fittler added. "It was 17 minutes to go before we got our first penalty so they did a great job there, they worked hard and they definitely won the ruck. We should have done a better job.

"We should have held them down longer, simple. They did what we should have done."

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