Prince ready to shed Origin nerves - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Prince ready to shed Origin nerves

By Jim Morton 25/06/2008 08:11:55 PM Comments (0)

Scott Prince has admitted he was a bundle of nerves in his Queensland State of Origin recall and warned his combination with Johnathan Thurston will be even more dangerous in next week's series decider.

The form player in the NRL, halfback Prince didn't let himself down as a late call-up in the Maroons' 30-0 drubbing of NSW at Suncorp Stadium and his organisation freed five eighth Thurston to run amok.

But there were a couple of blemishes and he believes they can produce much better in game three at ANZ Stadium next Wednesday night.

"I'll be honest," Prince told AAP. "I was nervous, it had been four years since I played State of Origin footy and the nerves were pretty high not knowing what it was like again.

"It really felt like my first game at that level.

"My main focus was solely to do my job and do it well.

"I had to get my own game in order and it started with my defence. If I got the defence in order the attacking part of it would take care of itself."

Prince and Thurston reunited for their first training session for Origin III in Cairns and the Gold Coast star relished the chance for a full preparation this time before they take on the new Blues pairing of teenage debutant Mitchell Pearce and Braith Anasta.

"Any halves combination would tell you it does take time to get it on song so obviously, for me personally, I'm better for the run in game two and really looking forward to a longer camp this time with JT and the team in general," said Prince.

Coach Mal Meninga has planned for Prince to play as the master tactician in Sydney, organising the plays and ensuring a good last-tackle kick for territory.

With the halves keeping NSW guessing by playing on either side of the ruck, the dynamic Thurston has shown he's the wildcard in Queensland's pack.

Queensland have made no bones about targeting 19-year-old NSW halfback Pearce in his first Origin match but Prince expects him to be up for the challenge.

He also believes Pearce's combination with Roosters teammate Anasta will give the Blues more stability and kicking options than they had with injured duo Peter Wallace and Greg Bird.

"People talk about his age but I think if he's good enough he's old enough," he said. "He's played some outstanding footy for his club alongside Braith Anasta.

"It's well documented he got tested out last weekend against Newcastle. He stood up to their attack. He's a tough nut to crack."

Queensland hold an advantage in taking in an unchanged team but second-rower Michael Crocker believes it will count for little with the Roosters halves holding court.

"We're confident but the changes they've made are good ones," Crocker said.

"They've bought in a halves combination that have played well all year and have been playing with a lot of confidence and they want to prove they are worthy of their selections.

"It gives them extra kicking option as well which is important when Origin is a game that's all about territory.

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2024 AAP

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