Smith playing mind games, says White - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Smith playing mind games, says White

By Wayne Heming 08/06/2008 05:49:51 PM Comments (0)

Rugged NSW prop Brett White believes Queensland hooker and Storm teammate Cameron Smith is playing mind games by moaning about the Blues' marker defence which suffocated him during Origin I in Sydney last month.

Smith urged referee Tony Archer to crack down on the ruck defence on Wednesday night to prevent ruining the Suncorp Stadium sellout as a spectacle, after he had complained Blues' markers jumped the gun and smothered him out of the Sydney Origin with illegal tactics.

"Traditionally you don't get many penalties blown in Origin but that's not to say if blokes are breaking the rules you just let them off with it," said Smith at the weekend.

"The (Sydney) game was definitely slowed down to a point where it was the slowest Origin I've played for Queensland but my main issue was with their marker defence.

But White, set for a physical battle with Maroons props Petero Civoniceva and Steve Price, said his club captain was simply trying to put pressure on to get an advantage for his team.

"That's probably Cameron Smith saying that because we didn't give him the opportunity to come out (of dummy half) as much as he likes," said White who then warned Smith to expect more of the same on Wednesday.

"That's something for him to worry about, not for us to worry about.

"He probably wasn't happy with the game or that Queensland didn't get the first win up." White, who denied NSW were deliberately offside in the ruck, said he had no doubt Smith would make adjustments for game two.

"He's a pretty smart player and no doubt he'll have something up his sleeve, White said before NSW trained in front of almost 1,000 people at their Casuarina Beach resort.

The training session, in which former Blues halfback Andrew Johns ran with the opposition Titans under 18 side, was supposed to be "closed" but had to be roped off from the public after hundreds of fans turned up to watch.

The session was dominated by calls of "Smith, Smith, Smith" and "Boyd, Boyd, Boyd" when played was directed down the right side attack when Brisbane winger Darius Boyd will make his Origin debut.

NSW back-rower Anthony Laffranchi was almost blaze when asked about the impact Brisbane's Karmichael Hunt could have in his new utility role off the bench.

"To be honest, I don't even know their team," said Laffranchi without a hint of a smile to suggest he was joking.

"I haven't read too much into their team because you want to prepare individually and as a team as best you can.

"He's a class player and he adds that utility value off the bench.

"He can play right across the backline and maybe in the backrow and he'll add that impact off the bench they've been looking for.

The Blues, who completed their training run before Queensland announced the withdrawal of skipper Darren Lockyer, were understood to have schedule a second night time session to escape the prying eyes of any Queensland "spies".

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