Maroons have a special bond: Slater - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Maroons have a special bond: Slater

By Todd Balym 19/06/2009 06:59:24 PM Comments (0)

Queensland fullback Billy Slater says the Maroons don't need to win four State of Origin series in a row to feel like they've created an everlasting bond.

With the Maroons on the brink of a record fourth successive series win, Slater says the players already feel part of something special regardless of whether they win or lose this year's title.

"The guys who have played over the last four years already have a pretty special bond," said Slater.

"We've got a chance to do something and make history but we're not going out to do that. We're going out to win the football game and if that happens, well, that's great.

"But the special bond, I think it's already there. I don't think we need to win four series in a row to have that."

In fact it seems that the Maroons are the only ones not discussing the remarkable piece of history that awaits them with just one more victory.

"We don't really talk about it or anything like that. Obviously we're just so focussed on the now," said veteran prop Petero Civoniceva.

"All the talk has been around whether we can make it four series wins in a row but it's something we as a group haven't really spoken about ... we've got a job to do."

That job means securing the series next week in Sydney, then possibly celebrating it in style with another win at Brisbane.

And while they'd love nothing more than ramming home their dominance with a 3-nil series sweep, Queensland's first since 1995, they're only focussed on game two.

"I think that is a little bit cocky if we thought we were going to win 3-nil," said Slater.

"Our priority is getting our processes right to win this football. We are by no means thinking about the third game or anything like that.

"We want to perform well in this second game and hopefully win the series. Three-nil has not even come into our minds."

Despite going winless in their first 11 visits to ANZ Stadium, the Sydney ground no longer holds any concerns for the Queenslanders as they won two of their past three visits - both wins securing them the series titles in 2007 and 2008.

"A couple of years ago all the talk was when we came down here that we couldn't win here and we haven't won here for so long," he said.

"I suppose getting a couple of wins up down here relieves that pressure."

Civoniceva meanwhile has warned his teammates to expect a tougher NSW side next week, fearing the Maroons face defeat if they allow the Blues to play like they did in the second half of Origin I.

"There were some lapses in concentration there that we just can't afford to do in this game," said Civoniceva.

"The first half we definitely showed each other what needs to be done in terms of shutting them down but there were stages there late in sets we probably clocked off and if we do that again we're going to come away losers at the end of the day."

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