Lockyer not feeling Origin pressure - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Lockyer not feeling Origin pressure

By Wayne Heming 04/06/2008 09:21:35 AM Comments (0)

Darren Lockyer and his racehorse Vietnam made impressive comebacks last weekend.

Lockyer produced the chip kick for Brisbane winger Denan Kemp's match-winning try against Parramatta at Suncorp Stadium last Friday night.

Less than 24 hours later his talented five-year-old mare stormed home for an eye-catching victory in the wet at Eagle Farm to complete the comeback double.

But while Vietnam heads to the paddock for a rest, Lockyer will carry Queensland's hopes in next week's return State of Origin against the Blues with the series squarely on the line.

Vietnam, trained at Eagle Farm by Liam Birchley for a syndicate which includes the Queensland captain, has a touch of class about her, just like her part-owner.

Saturday's win, after a slight setback, was her sixth in 20 starts and she was also runner-up to Allow in the black listed Queensland Oaks over 2400 metres at Eagle Farm in 2006.

"She's going to have a couple of weeks off but hopefully she'll be back for the Winter Stakes," said Lockyer, who knows a bit about time off following complications with his right knee since undergoing reconstructive surgery late last year.

"I guess you could say she's put the cue in the rack and I've taken it out for now."

Lockyer has carried punters' hopes for much of his brilliant career, either when playing for Brisbane, Queensland or Australia.

He's a proven match-winner and as Queensland selector Des Morris said, a player who has constantly won games for the past decade.

Next Wednesday night will be another occasion where Lockyer will be expected to produced a miracle or two.

Does he ever feel the weight of a state on his shoulders?

"No. I've played Origins before and I don't see this one as any different," he said.

"I've just got to use my past experiences, prepare as well as I can and not let the outside influences worry me.

"I probably won't read the papers this week or watch the news and just go about my business.

"The most important part of the week will be 8pm next Wednesday night.

"What happens then is the crucial part and how I prepare mentally and physically leading up to that will be the key."

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