Webb says NSW Origin pride on the line - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Webb says NSW Origin pride on the line

By Daniel Pace 15/05/2008 04:01:23 PM Comments (0)

Queensland enforcer Carl Webb expects NSW to put everything on the line to try and salvage some lost pride in Wednesday's State of Origin series opener in Sydney.

The Blues are facing a third consecutive series defeat for the first time since 1989 when Queensland legends Wally Lewis, Allan Langer and Gene Miles helped carry their state to a period of rugby league dominance.

NSW have achieved the feat twice in Origin history, from 1992-94 and 2003-05.

"I'm sure New South Wales could field three competitive sides," said Test forward Webb.

"They're always going to put a quality team on the field and I think they've selected a really tough forward pack.

"They've got a lot of inspiration in the fact that they're a couple of series down and I remember when we were at that stage ... and the motivation that created.

"If they're coming in with that sort of mindset they're definitely going to be dangerous, other than the fact they're a quality team.

"It's a pride match for them.

"They're going to come out all guns blazing."

The Blues won last year's "dead rubber" but they haven't won a series since 2005 when champion halfback Andrew Johns called the shots after the Maroons had won the opening game in extra time.

Three years later it's Cronulla pair Greg Bird and Paul Gallen who are expected to bring the aggression and hard-hitting defence to rattle the Maroons.

Despite the inexperience of NSW props Brett White and Ben Cross, who have played just two Origins between them, Webb rates them the most dangerous in the Blues pack.

"Crossy, I've always rated him as a player," Webb said.

"He's got quite a workrate and he's a big man.

"He's got a real straight up and down game and he's very physical.

"Brent White is the same, he'll just keep running at you all day.

"Not to take away from anybody else but they're the guys I'm worried about the most.

"They're going to be a very physical presence on the field and I'm sure it's going to be a great contest."

Asked what qualities debutant Cross brought to the Blues, Melbourne teammate Michael Crocker didn't mince his words.

"A little bit of craziness," said the Maroons back-rower, who played the last of his seven Origins in 2005.

"He's perfect for Origin football.

"You know exactly what you're going to get from him.

"You know he's going to get the ball and run flat out at you and that he'll go flying into tackles trying to clean blokes up.

"I think he'll bring a lot of excitement and enthusiasm to the Blues."

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