NSW fans need to be 'like Queenslanders' - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

NSW fans need to be 'like Queenslanders'

By Todd Balym 26/06/2008 08:06:17 PM Comments (0)

NSW have called upon Sydney fans to adopt the same attitude as the 'rednecks' across the border by throwing away the beach balls and cheering the Blues all the way to victory next week at ANZ Stadium.

Chairman of selectors Bob McCarthy says the Blues will need a capacity crowd baying for Maroons blood next week if they are to upset Queensland and claim NSW's first Origin series title since 2005.

McCarthy says the crowd plays a big role in Origin and wants NSW fans to lift to the standard set by Queenslanders, who were labelled rednecks by Willie Mason and responded with rousing support that helped the Maroons thump the Blues even after the result was beyond doubt.

"Up there Queensland really lift and down here we should lift if we get the crowd behind us," said McCarthy.

"I just hope that they get there and get involved in the game and not like in that first game where we got up by 18 points and they started playing with a beach ball and doing the Mexican wave.

"You go to Queensland and their fans are right into it and keeping Queensland going in the game for the full 80 minutes.

"I hope the crowd down here can do what they do for their club sides and get there and barrack for the whole game."

Around 70,000 tickets have been sold for Wednesday's decider at the Olympic stadium, with NSW officials hopeful the event will be close to a sell out prior to kick off.

Meanwhile NSW forward Ryan Hoffman has endorsed departing skipper Danny Buderus's suggestions that either injured centre Mark Gasnier or under siege forward Willie Mason should assume the Blues captaincy next year.

"We've got a lot of options there but if he is still there blokes like Gaz I reckon he would be a good captain and I know Willie has put a hand up too and he would do the job as well," said Hoffman.

But neither Gasnier nor Mason are guaranteed selections for NSW next year.

Gasnier is still weighing up his future in the NRL while Mason is believed to be on his last chance to perform in a Blues jumper or risk being axed next year.

Of the current squad only lock Paul Gallen, ageing forward Craig Fitzgibbon and five-eighth Braith Anasta have skippered their NRL sides.

Sharks leader Gallen, who has played just four Origin games, denied he'd be a contender for the role in 2009.

"I don't know about that one. It would be an unbelievable honour to captain NSW but I will just worry about this game and worry about getting in the team next year before I worry about being captain," said Gallen.

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