NSW Blues eyeing perfect Origin effort
Perfection. It’s an extraordinary target to aim for but, according to NSW coach Ricky Stuart, nothing else will be good enough to beat Queensland in Wednesday night’s State of Origin rugby league opener.
PERFECTION. It’s an extraordinary target to aim for but, according to NSW coach Ricky Stuart, nothing else will be good enough to beat Queensland in Wednesday night’s State of Origin rugby league opener.
It’s a statement testament to the juggernaut the Blues are up against at Etihad Stadium – a Queensland team rated among the best assembled striving for seven straight series wins.
“We won’t win if we don’t,” Stuart said when asked if the Blues had to play perfect footy to beat Queensland.
“I’m really happy with the individual we picked in the team … the type of individual player that we’ve got coming through.
“We’ve got to wait and see now.
“I don’t think of winning. I just think of getting the players to the game in the best physical shape and making sure that the group of us have our strategy and plan in place.
“You don’t think of winning even when you hit the park.
“It’s a matter of getting the first set of six out of the way and then getting through the next set of six.”
It was a philosophy the Blues bought into at ANZ Stadium last year – when they completed 34 of 38 sets to beat Queensland 18-8 – NSW’s only win in their past six Origin matches.
“Their performance last year was sensational – in game two, they completed nearly 90 per cent which is fabulous at any level,” Maroons’ coach Mal Meninga said.
“To complete at nearly 90 per cent at State of Origin is super human really – the best game of rugby league you could play.”
But while Stuart could use that game as proof of what the Blues are capable of, he has made a point of not relying on history to help motivate his players to bring down the Maroons’ dynasty.
Stuart knows what’s gone on before will have no impact on what happens on Wednesday night – and what is the benefit of reminding his players that the Blues have lost a record six straight Origin series.
“I don’t look back at the past. It’s something that’s there and we know it,” said Stuart, who was at the helm when the Blues achieved their last series win in 2005.
“We’re on the right track … I can’t look back at the past and I can’t expect these young boys to be looking back at the past – they haven’t been involved in it.
“They’ve got a great opportunity to create the future.” – AAP
Who do you think will win? Tell us below: