Young attempted a one-on-one steal, giving the Maroons the field position to score their second try while Pangai had a costly offload and flop penalty, allowing Queensland to gain momentum early in the second half, resulting in their win at 26-18.
Pangai expressed regret and acknowledged that errors coming out of yardage were crucial and cost them the game. Meanwhile, Young hopes to have done enough to retain his spot on the team for the second game in Suncorp Stadium.
Coach Brad Fittler stated that he is “a fair way away” from selecting the team for Origin II, implying that NRL form could play a role. The return of Latrell Mitchell, if deemed fit, is expected, with the selection of halfback Nathan Cleary and skipper James Tedesco under scrutiny for the first time in Fittler’s tenure. A win in the series would secure Fittler a contract extension, but he needs to get everything right, especially with his bench composition and rotation, where he has been tutored by Billy Slater.
The usually durable Payne Haas had restricted minutes, with Pangai only on the field for eight minutes during his second stint, and Young playing for half an hour. Their roles will be under consideration for the next game, along with Nicho Hynes, who was assured his debut at hooker but only played when he covered Trbojevic at center.