Meninga keeps up pressure on Origin refs - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Meninga keeps up pressure on Origin refs

By Steve Jancetic 18/06/2009 07:14:19 PM Comments (0)

Believe it or not, Queensland coach Mal Meninga doesn't understand why a coach would want to talk about referees in the lead-up to Origin matches.

Funny that, because it took him all of 30 minutes after the Maroons touched down in Sydney ahead of Wednesday's second match of the Origin series to again call for blockbusting winger Israel Folau to be protected by the referees.

"I don't know what to make of it all ... I've never been a believer in talking about referees before games," Meninga said at Sydney Airport on Thursday.

"Some decisions are going to have a bearing on the game but I think it equals out during the course of the game really and in Origin footy if it doesn't equal out it equals out in the course of the series.

"We've just got to combat anything that's thrown at us - I'm not sure what the interpretation's going to be on the night.

"If Izzy gets taken out I expect the referees to penalise it - that's just the nature of the game."

Asked would he welcome another chat with the referees ahead of Origin II - just as he did before the series opener - Meninga said:

"If they want to talk to us, yeah.

"We'd like to know if there are any areas that they are going to referee to any stringent rules I guess, we need to know if they're going to pinpoint anything in the game."

Meninga and his Maroons squad headed straight for the NSW central coast town of Terrigal to set up camp - the move replicating the successful build-up to Sydney matches from the previous two Origin campaigns.

With victories from two of their past three visits to ANZ Stadium, Meninga said playing on enemy turf was no longer an issue for his side.

The Maroons had gone 11 straight games without victory in Sydney, but their two most recent series wins have both been wrapped up at the Olympic venue.

"We're playing against a really good footy side and against the crowd - we know what to expect from the ground perspective," Meninga said.

"All those things are not in our control, we can't control where we play and what the crowd's going to do and what they're going to do at times.

"We've got to prepare really well to make sure we can handle the adversity that will confront us next Wednesday."

Backrower Ashley Harrison said ANZ Stadium would hold no fears for his side.

"We're lucky enough to get away with a couple of wins the last few years so it's just another patch of dirt for us," Harrison said.

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