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It's about the Blues not Qld: Watmough

20/05/2010 06:59:26 PM Comments (0)

Anthony Watmough claims NSW have been brought down by Queensland's aura in past campaigns, but the fiery backrower is adamant the Blues finally have the belief to end the greatest winning run in State of Origin history.

Seeking to break Queensland's unprecedented four-year dominance of the interstate battles, Watmough conceded the Blues had been guilty of being beaten before a ball had even been kicked in previous seasons, thanks to the plethora of stars at the Maroons disposal.

But according to Watmough, all that changed in last year's dead rubber, when the Blues realised they could match it with their more fancied opponents both with skill and good old fashioned aggression.

"We worried in earlier games about Queensland and stopping them, but I think the good thing about this year is they can look over their shoulders and think `how are we going to stop this guy, how are we going to stop this guy," Watmough said from the Blues camp in Wollongong on Thursday.

"The more we make it about us the better.

"We've got to stop them and it's all on us. Bellyache (coach Craig Bellamy) said the other day `they've got a great team and a big team, but look at some of our boys and we've got some big boys and some tough boys in there.'

"(Jamal) Idris and (Timana) Tahu and (Matt) Cooper and Jamie Lyon ... they're going to have a hard time trying to stop our big boys too."

While much has been made of possible repercussions from the spiteful final two minutes of the 2009 series finale when both sides went at each other with cheap shots, Watmough said it was vital the Blues focused on footy rather than punches.

That's not to say the firebrand backrower won't test the boundaries and patience of referees Shayne Hayne and Tony Archer, but he dismissed fears from Queensland skipper Darren Lockyer of an early get square.

"It's a beat-up every year about brawls in Origin and this year it's going to erupt and `cattle dog' is back on," Watmough said, referring to NSW's infamous `cattle dog' war cry, which sparked an all-in brawls during the 1990s.

"When you get down to it, you can't really worry about that, you've got to worry about playing footy first and foremost and those things don't happen until the game's won or lost.

"Probably wait until the back end of the game and there might be a few little cheap shots coming.

"If they're going to let them dwell on them that's going to affect them more than it's going to affect us. They're going to give the stupid penalties away and miss the stupid tackles because they're a bit too angry."

Rather than play angry, Watmough says the Blues need to be smart in the way they use their aggression, as they did in belting the Maroons out of the contest in Brisbane last year.

"We just played as a team more than anything ... the way we went out there, the physical nature we took into the game, I think we really destroyed them with our defence," Watmough said.

"We did it for 80 minutes - we did it in other games for 70 minutes and 60 minutes but we definitely played as a team and were aggressive and had that intensity for 80 minutes.

"It showed in the 78th minute when that fight happened that we still had our cranky heads on."

After two days of mostly fitness training the Blues will be given the day off on Friday before ramping up their preparation with full ballwork sessions on both Saturday and Sunday.

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