NSW to target Qld's Boyd in Origin II - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

NSW to target Qld's Boyd in Origin II

By Todd Balym 04/06/2008 06:29:11 PM Comments (0)

NSW have promised an aerial avalanche on rookie Queensland winger Darius Boyd in State of Origin II next week, knowing that kicking to Israel Folau on the opposite side is a futile task.

Brisbane 20-year-old Boyd will make his Origin debut at Suncorp Stadium next week and the Blues plan to keep kicking to the same side which led to their rookie Anthony Quinn scoring twice in the series-opening victory.

One of Quinn's tries came from a pinpoint Peter Wallace cross field bomb that flew over the head of Brent Tate, while the other came from a well-worked backline play.

NSW fullback Brett Stewart, who has passed his three Origin examinations with flying colours, insists Boyd will be a main target for the Blues attack because opposite winger Folau is near faultless under bombs.

"Oh yeah, fullbacks and wingers always get pressured a fair bit," said Stewart.

"We will probably be asking him (Boyd) questions being on debut.

"(Folau) is pretty accurate when it comes to catching the balls, so we will definitely ask (Boyd) the questions."

And Stewart knows nothing is more important than putting pressure on the rookies immediately, as early errors can often manifest in horror performances.

"It's enormous," he said when asked about the importance of taking your early catches.

"Especially for your confidence. It can't be good if you drop one or two of your first ones you get given.

"I don't forget last year when I made my debut, Locky (Darren Lockyer) put a few bombs up.

"I was alright though, I didn't drop any.

"(But) it was weird for me as I only had one day to prepare so I didn't think it over too much. It was one sleep and it was game day."

It won't be just in the air Boyd will be asked questions, with centre Matt Cooper keen to renew his dominance over centre rival Tate, who shifts inward after Justin Hodges was ruled out with suspension.

Cooper has faced Tate many times in his career, but the last time they opposed each other in the centres the St George Illawarra star took the honours, scoring in both Dragons victories over the Broncos back in 2006.

"I have played against (Tate) many times and he is a quality player, he is always up to the challenge in Origin," said Cooper.

"I think losing Hodges is a blow because he is a real quality player."

But Cooper expects more fluency and spirit in the Queensland attack this game with skipper Darren Lockyer back to run the show at five-eighth and the Maroons desperate to keep the series alive.

"I'm sure they're going to be a different side, they're going to be more hungry for a win. The series is on the line for them," he said.

Although the Blues stand on the cusp of clinching the series, they will start the game as underdogs with bookmakers expecting Queensland to send the series into a decider.

Stewart insists being 1-nil up in the series will not change how the Blues approach the game next week.

"We are looking to win this game exactly the same way we wanted to win game one," he said.

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