Maroons ready for a Blues kicking - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Maroons ready for a Blues kicking

By Wayne Heming 27/06/2008 07:24:36 PM Comments (0)

Queensland have gone on full alert for an Origin aerial assault by the NRL's most lethal halves Mitchell Pearce and Braith Anasta on Wednesday night.

The kicking game of the Roosters teammates led to almost half their team's 56 tries this season - clearly the best return of any team in the premiership.

"They've both got great kicking games and they (NSW) lacked a bit of that in game two and we'll have our work cut out for us," said Maroons five-eighth Johnathan Thurston, who found some much needed confidence in Queensland's 30-0 second game win.

"They've got more options with Braith and Mitch there and I definitely think they'll use that."

Thurston said so much of Origin was built around a good kicking game because field position was so crucial.

"If you win that battle, nine times out of ten, you win the game," he said.

"We'll do a fair bit of video on them over the next few days and I'm sure the coaches will have an input as well.

"They're very dangerous and the Roosters have scored a lot of tries from their kicks and I'm sure they'll try and take that into Origin."

A 40-minute field session by Queensland's backs at Central Coast Grammar School was devoted entirely to defusing bombs.

Thurston, Cameron Smith and Scott Prince spent the entire time peppering Israel Folau, Brent Tate, Karmichael Hunt, Darius Boyd and Greg Inglis with spiralling kicks.

Anasta sat out NSW training with an ankle injury and has been given until Sunday to run but Queensland expect him and debutant Pearce to kick a lot in Wednesday night's series decider.

While Thurston acknowledged the threat posed by Anasta and Pearce he warned there was still a lot of improvement to come from his new one-game-old partnership with halfback Scott Prince.

"I think the cohesion we had in game two can pick up a fair bit and I'm looking forward to playing with him again," he said.

"I think we can hold a bit more shape in attack and get the ball of each other a bit more rather than just getting it off Cam (Smith)."

Thurston said hooker Cameron Smith had coped well with having him and Prince as first receivers and he got the ball when he wanted it.

"It seemed to work well in game two and I don't think we'll be changing too much of each other's game," he said.

"Cam worked with both options and as long as he's got calls on both sides of the ruck."

Regardless of the kicking game, Thurston said the decider would be won where all big games are won - in the forwards.

"These games come down to the forward packs," he said.

"Whoever dominates the ruck and field position normally wins these games.

"If you've got no go forward your halves can't do anything, you can't get the ball to your outside backs.

"The battle up front will be where the game will be won."

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