Willie set to 'explode' in Origin III - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Willie set to 'explode' in Origin III

By Wayne Heming 28/06/2008 06:15:47 PM Comments (0)

Rugged Queensland forward Nate Myles says a maligned Willie Mason will unleash his full fury on Queensland amidst claims his State of Origin career is on the line.

The Roosters enforcer branded Queenslanders "nutbag rednecks" before the Maroons smashed NSW 30-0 in the second Origin game in Brisbane but has been noticeably subdued in the lead-up to Wednesday night's series decider at ANZ Stadium.

Former Parramatta great Brett Kenny said Mason was under pressure to deliver or his 12-game Origin career could be on the rocks.

"It's probably been his moment of truth for a while now so he has to stand up," said Kenny who saddled up for 17 Origins between 1982-87.

"He's the biggest player we've got, he's our biggest forward and he has to lead from the front.

"It's all well and good talking it up and trying to help promote the game, not that Origin needs promoting.

"You can talk all you like but after a while people are going to expect you to actually do something.

"It's time.

"If Willie doesn't perform in this one, I don't know if he will play State of Origin again."

Myles said Mason would want to respond to such personal criticism on Wednesday night.

"It would be getting to Willie for sure," said Myles.

"I know Willie pretty well and I don't think his rep career is over by any means.

"He'll stand up. I know when he gets a bit of pressure put on him he tends to come out and play pretty well.

"We're expecting him to explode, he's a big game player and he thrives on that stuff."

Queensland are expecting Mason and Paul Gallen to push the boundaries with the series on the line.

Myles said players took more liberty in Origin than in the NRL and expected to cop a bit more.

"If you give it, you take it," said Myles when asked if Queensland expected Gallen to bait them on Wednesday night.

"That's the way he (Gallen) plays, that's what got him there.

"But you have to be controlled because if you're silly and give away a penalty it could cost you the game and you don't want to be the player to lose the series."

Queensland tackling legend Trevor Gillmeister joined the Maroons camp on Saturday to put some sting into their defence.

Gillmeister formulated the plan that nullified Mason in last year's series and he took the players behind closed doors on Saturday to give them some hitting tips.

"All us forwards get a lot out of working with Gilly," said Myles.

"He's really enthusiastic and he knows so much from having played Origin and forging a reputation as such a great hitter."

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