No need to motivate Maroons: Meninga - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

No need to motivate Maroons: Meninga

By Laine Clark and Wayne Heming 18/05/2010 11:47:59 PM Comments (0)

The sight of an angry Mal Meninga is enough to motivate anyone - but the hulking Queensland coach says he won't have to "bang the drum" to ensure complacency never creeps into the Maroons camp again.

Meninga was left seething over the Maroons' attitude ahead of 2009's Origin finale, as Queensland missed a chance to clean sweep their fourth straight series win over NSW at their spiritual home, Suncorp Stadium.

The Maroons legend's mood would also not have been helped by allegations that some Queensland players dabbled in a home-made party drug during their preparation in camp.

While the drug allegations were not directly addressed by Meninga when he named his team for next week's 2010 opener on Tuesday, the Maroons mentor made it clear he would not tolerate another repeat of last year's performance.

Not that the players have to be told.

"I was a bit critical of them internally with the way they prepared," Meninga said in Brisbane.

"Unfortunately in this day and age if you leave your preparation too late it has an adverse effect - that has to be addressed.

"But they are professionals in their outlook and I don't expect for me to beat the drum, and to try and motivate them at all."

While content to focus on what could be a record fifth straight series win, Meninga still sounded like a man ruing last year's missed opportunity.

"There is a high expectation within the group, particularly when we train," he said.

"Everyone comes to the session well prepared. We just didn't have that last year (for game three) - we didn't train with the intensity that the Queensland crowd deserved.

"There's no doubt we wanted to win the series 3-0 last year and we wanted to win at home.

"And it was disappointing the way we prepared and disappointing the way we played - but we were beaten by a very physical NSW side.

"I am hoping that helps motivate our side."

But finding motivation won't be a problem judging by returning prop Petero Civoniceva's comments.

Civoniceva missed last year's finale due to injury but witnessed their poor preparation first hand before looking on helplessly as Queensland lost a spiteful match 28-16.

"Those things (that happened in camp last year) don't usually happen and it was very disappointing," he told AAP.

"But I think we've all learned from that and we can all see what the result of that was.

"The key to our success has been our preparation and that's what has given us the edge," he said.

"We've done such a good job of that but last year we were guilty of thinking we had the series won.

"The third game last year was a great opportunity to drive home what a great team we are."

But Queensland skipper Darren Lockyer believed the Game III loss would work in the Maroons' favour next Wednesday night.

"Being beaten in game three for us is probably a good thing - it puts us back in our box a bit," he said.

"We know we have some work to do, because they were by far the better team that night.

"They will take some confidence out of that but from our point of view it puts us back a step or two and helps us re-focus."

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