Tate says Maroons need to be aggressive - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Tate says Maroons need to be aggressive

By Wayne Heming 16/05/2008 06:15:59 PM Comments (0)

Winger Brent Tate says Queensland must meet the aggressive challenge posed by the Blues head on to get off to a flying start in this year's Origin series.

Blues brothers Greg Bird and Paul Gallen have been firing salvos at the Queenslanders, setting the scene for a physical opening to Wednesday night's first State of Origin clash at Sydney's Olympic stadium.

"They're big aggressive players and I'm sure they're going to stand up again next Wednesday night," warned Tate before dismissing concerns that swelling and fluid in his reconstructed left knee could force him to withdraw.

"The challenge that lies ahead of us is to make sure we match their aggression this time.

"We've got some pretty aggressive and strong guys in our pack as well, I think that's what makes Origin footy so great."

Gallen plays his football on the edge but Tate said that's what was required in the Origin arena.

Tate said there was no way a sore knee would keep him out of the action.

"If I had a torn medical and cruciate it might keep me out," said Tate who has made a habit of battling back from injury, including a neck problem that came close to forcing his premature retirement.

The Bronco-turned-Warrior had his left knee reconstructed last year after injuring himself playing for Queensland in the third Origin game.

He has been having treatment for soreness for the past 48 hours, sparking fears he could be in doubt.

"I've had it (soreness) ever since I came back playing," he said.

"It flares up when I jump on a plane, especially the long flight from New Zealand.

"But I had a few anti-imflammatories last night and I'm sweet.

"It's nothing that needs surgery. It's a reconstructed knee and they're never back to normal for 12 months or so."

Tate is likely to be used to give Hunt a defensive breather if the Blues direct a lot of traffic his way.

Hunt is accustomed to making four or five tackles a game but in Origin, five-eighths can make between 20 and 30 tackles and Bird has already flagged his intention to make Hunt work overtime.

"I'll be defending on the right-hand side and if K (Karmichael Hunt) needs a break, he can shift out on the wing for a set or two," Tate said.

"I'm sure that's going to happen during the game because he's not used to doing all that defensive work."

Brisbane teammate Sam Thaiday had no concerns about Hunt handling anything NSW sent his way.

Hunt displays no fear when bringing the ball back from kicks and Thaiday said he would adapt to the extra workload in his new position deputising for injured skipper Darren Lockyer.

"K's got a few screws loose in the head and he's a bit crazy. He'll defend fine there," said Thaiday.

"Karmichael can do anything.

"He's a great runner of the ball and a great ball player which is why he is going to be good for us at five-eighth."

Greg Inglis returned to the training paddock on Friday after missing both sessions on Thursday because with an upset stomach.

At times during Friday's opposed session against the Ipswich Jets at Runaway Bay he stood in at five-eighth suggesting he could give Hunt a rest at various stages of Wednesday night's game.

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