Queensland also under pressure: Bellamy - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Queensland also under pressure: Bellamy

24/06/2009 07:27:55 AM Comments (0)

NSW coach Craig Bellamy insists Queensland will feel as much pressure as the Blues when the Maroons seek to claim a record fourth straight State of Origin series title at ANZ Stadium on Wednesday night.

The Maroons lead the series one-nil after their 28-18 win in Melbourne three weeks ago and only need one more victory to claim the longest series winning streak in the history of Origin.

While the Blues are determined to avoid being on the wrong end of history, Bellamy believes it is the prospect of creating such a feat that could weigh on the Queenslanders' minds.

"Both teams are under a bit of pressure - it's an Origin series," said Bellamy.

"Certainly we're under a certain amount of pressure and in different ways they are as well ... it's how you handle it.

"It's what happens out there (on the field) that's going to count."

Queensland have enjoyed a trouble-free preparation for the clash, with centre Willie Tonga recalled after the injury to Justin Hodges in Origin I.

Meanwhile NSW have plunged from one drama to another, with Robbie Farah (ribs), Trent Barrett (back), Jamie Lyon (ankle), Ben Creagh (ankle), Paul Gallen (shoulder), Craig Wing (hamstring) and Michael Jennings (calf) all in doubt with injuries at one stage or another.

Jennings was ruled out last Thursday, replaced with Joel Monaghan, while Wing withdrew from the side on Monday, replaced by Josh Morris.

The uncertainty around the team lineup has forced NSW to train with assistant coach Andrew Johns filling various team roles, robbing the team of valuable time to build combinations.

Farah's ability to quickly recover from a rib cartilage injury has surprised many, but Bellamy says the Maroons are wasting their time thinking they can target the wily hooker's injury.

"(Queensland coach Mal Meninga) said they're going to test him out a bit but he's already been tested out - we've had (Michael) Weyman, (Justin) Poore and (Brent) Kite running at him and giving him a couple of whacks on the ribs," said Bellamy.

"I can assure Mal he's okay but if they want to test him out that's fine."

Meanwhile Bellamy denies halfback Peter Wallace will be benched by half time if he fails to improve on his quiet Origin I performance.

Fullback and skipper Kurt Gidley is an option to play in the halves, but Bellamy is adamant he has full confidence in out-form Bronco Wallace.

"If I thought I was going to pull him after 30 minutes, I wouldn't have picked him," said Bellamy.

"He probably wasn't at his best in that first game but there was a few other guys that weren't either.

"I've got all the confidence in the world in Peter Wallace."

Wednesday night's Origin II will kick off at 8pm (AEST), with an under 18s clash also between NSW and Queensland as the curtain raiser.

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