Queensland Maroons coach Billy Slater has revealed he wasn't surprised in the slightest by the return of Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow to the State of Origin arena on Wednesday evening.

Tabuai-Fidow scored a double as the Maroons overcame the Blues by 26 points to 18 despite being a man down with Thomas Flegler in the sin bin and two points behind, with just ten minutes to go.

Tabuai-Fidow's recall came at the expense of Dane Gagai, and Slater said that while it was a tough decision, he made the call for the right reason.

"They are really tough decisions to make and I don't make them lightly, but I make them for the right reasons. This is a tough position to be in. I've played footy with Dane. I've got a good relationship with Gags. I made sure I made that phone call as soon as that decision was made too," Slater said during his post-game press conference.

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"They aren't easy decisions to make, but they are made for the right reasons and that's the position I'm in. I'm not surprised with how Hammer played tonight."

Slater said all three recalled players in Tabuai-Fidow, David Fifita and Thomas Flegler, all had strong performances based on habits they built into their game.

"Hamiso, Dave Fifita and Tom Flegler had all played for Queensland. It has been a while since they were in the Queensland jersey, but they have really earnt their opportunity to play for Queensland again and I thought they were great," Slater said.

"The habits in their game that they have built especially this year have transpired into their performance at Origin. Like I said, they were fantastic tonight."

Slater also paid praise in the direction of fullback Reece Walsgh, who starred on debut.

Providing two try assists and being otherwise solid at both ends of the park, Slater said the foundations of his game will hold him in line for a strong career at the Origin level.

"And the young lad at fullback. He has so much substance to his game outside of the highlights. We all love watching Reece Walsh pull the trigger on a pass or blistering speed or his involvement in his game but he is building a foundation to his game that is going to hold him in good stead for a long period of time.

"That's what I've seen, that's what I've liked and that's why he is here. He is a quality player, he is a good young man and he has a big future ahead of him."

Walsh, who took the place of Kalyn Ponga, is now likely to hold his spot for Game 2, which will be played in Brisbane on June 21, with the Maroons a chance of winning the series with a game to spare.