NRL Round Table: Queensland in deep Origin trouble

Each week ESPN's resident NRL experts will take a look at the burning issues in rugby league and try to come up with the answers. Their opinions might not match yours, but they should certainly spark further debate on the latest conundrums facing the game we all love.

How do Queensland bounce back from that record-breaking thrashing?

Lucie: Beware the wounded Maroons. There's a dent in Queensland's pride and they should use that as motivation to turn around this Origin series. Paul Green's side need to take advantage of any complacency shown by the Blues in Origin II, because as Wednesday showed there's no room for error against such a force. On the bright side for the Sunshine State, it's only one-nil and they have a second chance to win at home with a larger crowd behind them. But dented pride aside, the Maroons need to work on their defence, tighten it and find a way to stop Tom Trbojevic... as well as Tedesco, Addo-Carr, To'o and Mitchell. The ankle-tapping Josh Papalii will come in handy on his return from suspension, while there's some hope Kalyn Ponga could bolster the Maroons' ranks. If not the latter, Queensland have an option to shift Valentine Holmes across and insert AJ Brimson at No.1 - after all, having too many in-form fullbacks has worked wonders for the Blues so far. Speaking of selection, Queensland should chose fit players for Origin II because at this level the crook ones are exposed. Cameron Munster and Harry Grant hadn't played in a month due to injury, while Dane Gagai had tonsillitis leading in. Their usual intensity was missed in the hefty defeat, so some big calls are needed for June 27.

Darren: The Maroons have always found a way to respond to a Blues victory and they have to once again, even though this was their biggest loss in Origin history. They will have the tape of this embarrassing first game to go through, searching for weaknesses as they battle to find a game plan that will answer the stunning attacking force representing New South Wales this year. They will notice that the Blues have managed to assemble one of the most lethal backlines in Origin history. One possible weakness that stood out to me was Josh Addo-Carr missing out on the tries out on the right wing. One of the NRL's greatest try scorers, the Fox never really looked like collecting one of the Blues eight four-pointers. Jerome Luai was brilliant in attack, but appears to heavily favour a right to left passing game. It's something that the Maroons must address with a stronger defensive set up on their right side. The combination of Dane Gagai and Xavier Coates did very little to hold back the Blue tide. They need to sharpen up defensively across the park, with Tom Trbojevic having a licence to roam free. If they manage to stop the Blues scoring, then they can look at amassing more points themselves.

Is Tim Sheens the answer to the Tigers' woes?

Lucie: Tim Sheens' return to Wests Tigers is a welcome move that will set up the club for future success, with the premiership-winning coach coming back as the head of football performance. Essentially this means Sheens will become the driving force behind the Tigers' next generation, overseeing recruitment, pathways from the grassroots, football administration and club culture. With their Campbelltown catchment, Sheens has the potential to turn Wests into the Penrith of the future as Sydney's south-western corridor continues to grow. So although the Tigers want to turn around their dismal finals run promptly, the benefits of his return will be felt in the long term. The club has enjoyed very little success since Sheens' exit in 2012, with current coach Michael Maguire attempting to lead Wests to their first finals appearance in a decade. His mid-season appointment should instill confidence in the club's players and fans that long last, something is going right.

Darren: The Tigers appear to be in a perpetual search for some wizard-like being to come down from the clouds and magically lead their club to premiership glory. In recent years they have been through more coaches than the Greyhound cleaning crew. Now with Michael Maguire at the helm they have hired Tim Sheens as a Phil Gould-type football overseer. Sheens, who has an extensive coaching and administration career, has been appointed the club's new football performance boss responsible for pathway development and planning, recruitment, football administration and club culture. Basically leaving just the X and O work for Maguire to focus on. It seems a strange, if not desperate, move, halfway through the season, but the club is long sick of missing the finals every year. Whether or not it works will depend almost entirely on the quality of the working relationship Sheens and Maguire are able to quickly establish. The question is; how long will the club give them and what do they do next if this doesn't deliver results?

Have St George Illawarra and coach Anthony Griffin messed up with their decision to let Matt Dufty go?

Lucie: I'd love to be a fly on the wall during St George Illawarra's discussions about Matt Dufty, because from the outside, it doesn't make much sense to farewell the fullback. The Dragons have decided to let Dufty leave at the end of the season, despite being one of the club's best players in attack. He responded with a stunning display against the Broncos last week, scoring two tries and five assists. Dufty is fast and his lively attack takes pressure off the halves, but defensive issues are understood to be behind Anthony Griffin's decision. The Tigers opted against re-signing club legend Benji Marshall for a similar reason, yet he's turned back the clock at Souths - leaving Wests fans a touch envious. For me, that's worth more than a sub-par defence. The other thing that doesn't sit right for me is the so-called loyalty. Clubs want players to be loyal but seldom show it in return. Dufty, a graduate of the St George Dragons SG Ball team, has played 78 matches for the club and is now no longer wanted. There's not a big market for fullbacks right now so it's not clear who the Dragons will chase as his successor, and I'm not sold on Cody Ramsey as a better option either.

Darren: From an outsider and fan's perspective it would seem so, certainly after the skills Dufty displayed in the Dragons' weekend thrashing of the Broncos. Personally, I have liked the way Dufty plays from the very first time I saw him a few years back. Fast, creative, dangerous with the ball both on kick returns and when slotting into the backline, he seems to be the full package new age fullback. There have, however, been some knocks on his defence. One thing you'll notice if you watch the likes of James Tedesco and Tom Trbojevic at club level is the way they would throw themselves in front of a run-away truck on their try line if it meant preventing a four-pointer. Dufty is a degree slighter than those two, but he has been found wanting in defence on occasion. Still he would have to rank in the top 10 fullbacks in the NRL and you'd only let him go if you knew you had someone better lined up for the job. The Dragons are leaning towards Cody Ramsey, who has filled in for Dufty several times this year. Griffin, like all NRL coaches, has a career which depends upon results. That doesn't mean he won't make mistakes, but he must have some very good reasons for letting Dufty go, because the stakes are so high for him personally.