Smith retired from representative football on the eve of Game I.

Queensland, missing the likes of Smith, Cooper Cronk and Jonathan Thurston, lost the first two games.

"For whatever reason, Cameron might have thought we were picking 11 players that were harder than what he wanted to take on this year," Fittler told

Some critics have pointed out that NSW has been lucky in this year's series because of the retirements and a number of injuries that have befallen the Maroons.

"I don’t care. I’m not fussed," Fittler said.

"When you look at it and talk about how experience is so (valuable) in Origin, we had 11 blokes in the first game beat a team that outweighed us by how many Origin games.

"You take Cameron Smith out who’s a really good player – he’s a vital one – but 11 new blokes took them on and beat them.

"Troddo (NSWRL chief executive Dave Trodden) and BJ (football manager Barrie-Jon Mather) have set up pathways and now you’ve got blokes like Latrell (Mitchell) and Nick Cotric who are all 18 and 19 ready to play Origin.

"Cameron retires and (Queensland) players are injured … I don’t know. But we can’t control that at all. NSW has done a really good job at winning just about everything.

"They’ve won all the age groups the last few years, they’ve won the women’s now and obviously Queensland have fallen behind somewhere."