Maroons will be ready for aggro: Petero - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Maroons will be ready for aggro: Petero

By Wayne Heming 18/05/2010 07:35:54 PM Comments (0)

Returning Queensland hardman Petero Civoniceva has sent a sobering warning to a physical NSW side planning another State of Origin mugging in Sydney next week - "we'll be ready".

The hulking prop could only watch on helplessly from the sidelines nursing injury as NSW "beat us up" in a controversial 2009 Origin series finale won 28-16 by the Blues.

And more of the same has already been predicted from the Blues as they attempt to derail Queensland's quest for a record five straight Origin series wins.

Civoniceva, 34, returns to bolster a Queensland side that will blood rookies Cooper Cronk and David Taylor next Wednesday - but the jury is still out on the fitness of inspirational rake Cameron Smith (elbow).

Still seething over the treatment of his usual partner in crime Steve Price by NSW in 2009's now infamous Origin III clash, Civoniceva did not rule out bad blood spilling over in the 2010 series opener.

"It quite possibly could," he told AAP.

"They haven't shied away from the fact they thought they got amongst us and beat us up - that was their key to victory.

"That's probably the way they'll play it again.

"We'll welcome that and we'll be more than ready for it if they turn it on."

And Civoniceva was hardly rattled by calls already from former NSW greats Mark Carroll and David Gillespie to "turn on the biff" against the Maroons.

"If that's the way they want to play, we'll be ready," he said.

"We've got a very big and physical pack as well and I know we won't be taking a backward step, that's for sure."

In a game that was marred by several ugly incidents, Queensland were particularly incensed in 2009 series finale when Price was at first knocked cold then manhandled as he lay unconscious on the turf.

Maroons skipper Darren Lockyer said it wouldn't take a genius to predict NSW would again be adopting a physical approach.

But the playmaker was more than confident that they had the personnel to "deal with it".

"We obviously have to sit down and say, look, if this is the game plan they going to use, then we need to work out a way to combat that," he said.

"We've got the players in Petero and Sam Thaiday and Nev (Costigan) to deal with whatever happens on the night."

But Queensland coach Mal Meninga warned that spite should not reign on the night if the Maroons wanted a successful start to the series.

"I imagine it (2009 Game III) would be brought up in both camps, how it ended," he said.

"The Origin arena is about being physical and being aggressive with your attitude, and we have to match that if they decide to come out physical again.

"But we know we can't win games fighting. We know we have to play smart.

"We will go back to doing what we do well and that's play footy to the best of our ability."

While a torrid clash has been predicted, NSW will be without one of their most feared hitmen Paul Gallen - but Meninga sounded like the only Maroon not surprised by the incumbent Test back-rower's absence.

"They have an array of back-rowers, and they had to make some choices, I guess," he said.

"It is still a very big side, they are hoping to be very physical and aggressive with us.

"That is the formula they think they can beat us with - they did it in game three.

"Their back row is formidable."

Queensland team: Billy Slater, Darius Boyd, Greg Inglis, Willie Tonga, Israel Folau, Darren Lockyer (c), Johnathan Thurston, Matt Scott, Cameron Smith, Petero Civoniceva, Nate Myles, Sam Thaiday, Ashley Harrison. Interchange: Cooper Cronk, David Shillington, Neville Costigan, David Taylor. (18th man: Ben Te'o).

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2021 AAP

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