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Kurt Capewell may bristle at suggestions Queensland were “monstered” by the Blues in Melbourne, but concedes the Maroons will have to step up to avoid a series defeat next Wednesday.

Coming onto the field in the 24th minute for an injured Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow in Game Two with Queensland already trailing 16-0, the recalled Capewell and his fellow forwards struggled to shift the momentum as NSW continued to score points to push to a record 34-0 lead at halftime, before going down 38-18.

Elevated to the starting side for the decider at Suncorp Stadium next Wednesday, the Warriors back-rower conceded the Maroons were outplayed in their last encounter, but was counting on seeing improvements across the team and was focusing on having a good preparation.

“Obviously, we lost. I thought we got beaten a little bit with the physicality, so we'll work on that and go into this game and I can't wait for the challenge,” Capewell said.

“I wouldn't say (we were) pushed around or monstered … (that’s) probably not the right word, but they definitely beat us.

“They had all the momentum at the start of the game and we weren’t at our best, so they took advantage of that.

“We'll just look at us and where we think we went wrong and work on that this week so that next Wednesday night we can put our best foot forward and get our job done in front of the home crowd.”

While coach Billy Slater was forced to make changes to his side, for the most part he has showed faith in those who were involved in the disappointing loss at the MCG to turn things around. 

Capewell - who has played in winning deciders at Suncorp Stadium in 2020 and 2022 - said he would work hard on performing for the team and said he was grateful for the opportunity to make amends. The Maroons have plenty of depth in the backrow and a number of players in form missed out on a jersey, including Titans star David Fifita, who’s attacking stats this season have seen him top 100 run metres in all but one of his 12 appearances and score four tries.  

“We have so many good backrowers and I'm honoured to be able to pull the jersey on and be a part of this team,” Capewell said.

“I don't take it lightly and we've got a good week-and-a-half ahead of us to get to work and keep on earning it and make sure we go out there next Wednesday and do the jersey proud.

Kurt Capewell runs out at the MCG in Game Two.
Kurt Capewell runs out at the MCG in Game Two. ©NRL Images

“I don't pick the team and I don't take any offence from people saying that Dave should be selected, because he's in great form.

“But I've got selected and I'm here to do a job, so I'm just focused on what I can control and that's my preparation for the next week-and-a-half. 

“I'm not so much worried about leading the pack. I'll just do my role, which is help my edge, shore up my edge defensively and be there in attack and take a hit up when I'm needed.”


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