Guerra hopeful of Origin II selection
They've built their reputation on staying loyal to the players who have helped them to 10 State of Origin series victories in the past 11 years, but a hefty 28-4 loss to the Blues on home soil has sparked plenty of debate in Queensland as to whether Maroons coach Kevin Walters should make mass changes ahead of Game Two on June 21.
The series opening loss was Queensland's worst at Suncorp Stadium and it hasn't taken long for fans and sections of the media to call for fresh blood to come in for the second game in Sydney.
Billy Slater looms as a logical choice to return at fullback, while there have been growing calls for big men Jarrod Wallace and Coen Hess to be thrust into the forward pack.
One of the players who could make way is Aidan Guerra who has played 10 straight games for his state since making his Origin debut in Game One of the 2014 series.
The Roosters forward has been made somewhat of a scapegoat following Wednesday's loss, but the criticism seems unfounded given he was one of Queensland's most solid contributors in limited game time.
Guerra ran for 81 metres – more than starters Nate Myles and Matt Gillett and fellow bench players Sam Thaiday and Jacob Lillyman – and produced one of his side's three line breaks after he threw a terrific cut out pass, backed up inside and then dummied past James Tedesco, only for Josh Dugan to knock the ball loose as he dived over in an attempt to score a try.
While the 29-year-old has heard the outside noise surrounding his selection for Game Two, Guerra believes the only opinion that matters is that of Kevin Walters and his fellow selectors.
"I felt like I went alright," Guerra replied when asked about his performance in the series opener.
"The people that matter were happy with how I played and that's enough for me. Obviously I still want to build on that and continue going forward.
"I think people are entitled to their opinions, but they're not the ones making the call. If 'Kevvie' or the selectors see it fit to not have me there then that's their choice, but everyone else doesn't matter to me."
The Maroons' reputation of staying loyal has rarely been tested given their recent success, but their hand might be forced this time around after their comprehensive defeat in the series opener.
Guerra knows there are no certainties going forward but would love the opportunity to retain his spot to help his beloved state turn things around when the series moves to Sydney in just under three weeks' time.
"Even when there was success, you don't expect to be picked in a State of Origin side," he said.
"Queensland has the reputation of being loyal but you can't get comfortable, otherwise you're going to get found out. Game Two's going to be no different to any other game. It's an honour to be selected, and if I do get selected then I'm not going to let them down.
"Losing is never easy, especially at Origin level. It is a series and if and when I get a second chance at it, I know I'll be doing everything for that team to not be in this position again."
This article first appeared on NRL.COM