We owe Queensland fans, says Lockyer - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

We owe Queensland fans, says Lockyer

By Wayne Heming 09/06/2010 12:33:35 PM Comments (0)

Darren Lockyer says his record-breaking Maroons owe Queensland fans after they were off their game against NSW at Suncorp Stadium last July.

A crowd of 50,000 packed out the ground hoping to celebrate Origin's first series whitewash in a decade.

However, led by man-of-the-match Anthony Watmough, a physical Blues outfit muscled-up on Queensland, leaving the home fans disappointed.

The win came too late to save the Blues from an embarrassing fourth straight series loss.

But it earned Queensland's record-breaking team a rocket for their poor preparation amid allegations some players dabbled in a cocktail of party drugs before the game.

The fallout from the below par performance was used by coach Mal Meninga and Lockyer to make sure preparations for game one in Sydney last month were spot on.

Their 28-24 reply now gives Lockyer - who could well be playing his last Origin at home - an opportunity to repay those same fans with a special night to remember with a fifth series win.

"Obviously that's our goal to wrap up the series at home," said Lockyer on the eve of his 32nd Origin.

"Last year, game three, we were outplayed but at the same time, we probably didn't play our best game either.

"That will be something we'll speak about this week - that Queensland supporters and fans deserve a better deal."

While Lockyer concedes NSW's desperation makes them even more dangerous, Queensland are not lacking in the motivation department.

Forward warrior Steve Price, who has announced his retirement at the end of 2010, has been invited into camp this week.

As usual, Meninga will surround his players with former Origin heroes, a practice the Maroons have embraced since the early days.

Meninga wants Price, a veteran of 28 Origins, to enjoy a fitting representative farewell at Queensland rugby league's spiritual home.

Price, who along with Petero Civoniceva has been the foundation of Queensland success for many years, has been battling the clock to pull on the Maroons jersey one last time.

A frustrating foot injury has so far foiled his efforts to get back on the field for the Warriors in 2010.

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