Queensland coach Kevin Walters couldn't bring himself to agree with the penalty try decision that went against his side at ANZ Stadium on Sunday night. But he couldn't bring himself to blame the controversial call for his side's 18-14 defeat either.
The Maroons dominated early to lead 10-6 until Blues skipper Boyd Cordner was ruled to have been taken out by Ben Hunt in a try-scoring opportunity according to the NRL Bunker, who ruled in the Blues' favour and awarded just the second penalty try in Origin history.
Despite initially declaring he would "leave that one alone", Walters was pressed more on the topic.
"I've been watching rugby league a long time and I'm not sure what the rule is with a penalty try," Walters said.
"Isn't it he's definitely going to score?
"That was the decision they come up with and we've got to respect that but that's not to say it's the right one.
"No [it wasn't right], but I don't want to be with what that was about.
"We lost and NSW won, we have to take our hats off to them. They were the better team over the series but it was a tough call."
Maroons skipper Greg Inglis preferred to leave the decision on the field.
It was Inglis' second Holden State of Origin series loss and first as captain despite another strong personal performance.
"We had opportunities there to win it and couldn't nail the key moments," Inglis said.
"It's hard to take it, this is what it is.
"We weren't good on the night, NSW were better and clinched the series.
"We knew what was on the line."
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Walters said his side was left to rue some poor options taken while NSW were down to 12 men with James Roberts in the bin from the 69th to 79th minute.
Maroons halfback Hunt was heavily criticised after the loss but Walters defended the No.7's performance and gave an early indication he is likely to be retained for the dead rubber at Suncorp Stadium on July 11.
"I'm not going to blame Ben for the loss. I won't make any decision [on game three selections], I don't see any reason why he won't be there," Walters said.
"We come up with the plays there that weren't quite right in that situation.
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"We were right in that game but in the end NSW to their credit got the win in the end."
In his first series loss as coach, Walters was keen to avoid a whitewash series as he reflected on when the fulltime siren sounded.
"It was hard to explain because my thought that's it, the series is done," Walters said.
"We had our chances regardless. That cost us in the end more than refereeing decisions.
"We've got to learn ... there's a lot of positives around this team."
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