Qld lose little with Smith gone: Blues - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Qld lose little with Smith gone: Blues

By David Beniuk 23/05/2010 02:17:26 PM Comments (0)

NSW say Queensland will lose little with the withdrawal of hooker Cameron Smith for Wednesday night's State of Origin clash at ANZ Stadium.

The Maroons have suffered what most consider to be a massive blow, with Melbourne captain Smith pulling out with an injured elbow.

He has been replaced by Manly hooker Matt Ballin, who will make his Origin debut.

"They're probably different players," Blues' halfback Brett Kimmorley told reporters on Sunday.

"Matty Ballin will come in and probably try and put his style of football on how he plays for Manly, it's probably a little bit different to how Cameron plays for Melbourne, but I don't think you can say they're a weaker side.

"A guy that comes in excited, enthusiastic, jumping at the gun to get a chance to play, that's all the reason he needs to play football."

Smith has been a major part of Queensland's stability over four straight series wins, developing a strong combination with halfback Johnathan Thurston and five-eighth Darren Lockyer at both Origin and Test level.

NSW could now conceivably have the upper hand in that department, as clubmates Kimmorley and Michael Ennis don the No.7 and No.9 jerseys respectively.

"For the last few years, they've been the same side, they've been pretty injury free for about three or four seasons," Kimmorley said of the Maroons.

"Working on an understanding of each other's game's a very big part of it.

"We're lucky this year, we have got a few combinations from a lot of different sides in key areas so that does help a little bit."

The Blues will leave their camp in Wollongong on Sunday afternoon to set up base in Sydney.

They will train at Parramatta Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

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