Cronk is the key, IMO. Thurston is a natural ball runner and truly gifted at putting his outsides into space, but I've never seen him as a genuine back line general to boss the team around the park. So when Cronk was out it took Thurston away from his natural game. Cherry-Evans could get there eventually but needs more time in the bottle.
Cronk directs his teams around the park superbly and excels at option-taking to apply pressure and cement field position. NSW just couldn't get their hands on the ball in good position often enough to be effective. If Crock wasn't out injured it would have been 3-0 QLD.
I was also pleased to see how the QLD forwards went, although it's a worry that Parker and Thaiday were the best out there as these younger guys need to step up (Guerra excepted, he went well.) Parker's miracle offloads and Thaiday's Beast Mode opens up so much in attack, so I'm hoping players like McQueen, Jillitt and Papalli can fill their massive boots.
Hadn't heard about Bennett: you'd be a happy man after this week!