Gidley letter 'disappointing': Cam Smith - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Gidley letter 'disappointing': Cam Smith

By Wayne Heming 22/05/2010 03:49:09 PM Comments (0)

Hooker Cameron Smith doubts that Queensland skipper Darren Lockyer would ever resort to penning an open letter appealing to Maroons fans - just as NSW captain Kurt Gidley has ahead of Wednesday's State of Origin opener in Sydney.

As NSW did their best to hype up Origin passion with an inaugural Former Origins Greats (FOGS) lunch in Sydney this week, Gidley's letter, signed by all Blues players, implored fans to pack out ANZ Stadium in a sea of blue to bring down the arrogant Queenslanders in game one.

"We want 80,000 fans dressed in blue in full voice. Let's show Queensland what Origin means to NSW," said the hand-written letter published in a Sydney newspapers on Saturday.

Smith said he couldn't ever see Lockyer being in a position where he had to urge Queensland fans to come to an Origin game.

"I think Origin games in Queensland sell out pretty quickly," said Smith, still racing the clock to be fit for Wednesday night's clash.

The second Origin game at the 51,000-seat Suncorp Stadium sold out within two hours of tickets going on sale.

"It's a bit disappointing given State of Origin is one of the biggest games of the year," Smith told AAP.

"I don't know if it's the team lacking the support or the game in Sydney is lacking the support.

"Either way, it's a shame.

"You'd like to think when you represent your state everyone of your fans is going to get out and support you.

"I know it's a big stadium out there but I think if we had an 80,00-seat stadium in Queensland, we'd fill it.

"I don't think Locky would ever have to write a letter to our fans to come and cheer us on."

With the opening game of the series five days away, there are still 13,000 tickets not sold.

A Facebook group called "Queensland Maroons" which set out to get 125,000 members in support of Mal Meninga's Origin team, had 84,812 fans registered by Saturday.

A similar Facebook page "NSW Blues" had 30,172 registered members.

Gidley said the first game was "crucial" in shaping the Origin series.

With two games in Sydney, he said fans could help make ANZ, where the Blues have a daunting Origin record, a fortress again.

Smith, meanwhile, continued to keep alive his hopes of playing in his 20th straight Origin as his elbow injury show signs of improving.

"It's the best it's felt in the whole camp. The physio guys have been great working on it three times a day but there's till a little bit to go," he said before Queensland's opposed session against a Sunshine Coast side on Saturday afternoon.

Smith revealed he'd been told he may never get the full range of movement back in his elbow.

"If I can get the last bit of swelling out and the pain is gone. I'll be right to play," he said.

"I haven't made a tackle in two weeks, so I've lost a bit strength.

"If it's not 100 per cent right, I won't be going out there to play.

"You have to look at the big picture, there's two more games to play.

"If it was a grand final, I'd be playing.

"There's no point me going out there just to chalk up another Origin match on my record just to play 10 minutes and let the boys down."

Smith said if he played, he expected to be targeted.

"I'd say they'd come looking for me and accidentally knock it, that's just the way footy is," he said.

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