Lockyer and Smith remember 2006 - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Lockyer and Smith remember 2006

By Wayne Heming 15/06/2010 07:13:04 PM Comments (0)

Queensland captain Darren Lockyer says memories of how close Queensland came to an embarrassing fourth straight series loss in 2006 will ensure complacency is not a factor against NSW.

While the racial row sparked by NSW winger Timana Tahu's allegations against former Origin star Andrew Johns continued to engulf the Blues and rugby league, Lockyer said Queensland were bracing for the full force of a NSW side steeled by the events of the past week and a fear of being remembered for losing a fifth straight Origin series.

NSW hooker Michael Ennis said the Blues believed the stage could not have been set better for their do-or-die clash.

"As a game I think it has worked out perfect to be honest for tomorrow night," Ennis said on Tuesday.

"To have game two here, the surface, and it's been sold out since, well, 2000 probably.

"I think everyone is looking forward to playing on Suncorp - it's the best pitch to play on in our sport."

However, Lockyer knows plenty about desperation.

He's pulled Australia and Queensland out of the fire more than any other player in recent times, including a crucial try in the second game of the 2006 series which saved the Maroons from a fourth series loss and ignited their domination since.

Queensland had lost the previous three series and were 1-0 down after blowing a comfortable lead in the first game in Sydney.

Lockyer's leadership qualities was questioned and the players and rookie coach Mal Meninga were hammered by the media.

There were fears unless Queensland could come back, Origin would be dead.

"Everyone was into us," Lockyer recalled.

"We came back to Brisbane and won the second game 30-6.

"I know they (NSW) have been criticised a lot and they'll be hurting from that and with what has happened this last week, they'll be wanting to prove a point.

"Regardless of their preparation, I know they're going to be very tough."

Lockyer said while NSW were in the same boat last year coming into game two when they were fighting to prevent a record four consecutive series' losses, they'd be feeling even more pressure to end the losing streak.

"I imagine with each series loss the desperation builds and builds," he said.

Hooker Cameron Smith, the only player to feature in all 12 games during Queensland's record run, shares Lockyer's concerns.

Smith said NSW coach Craig Bellamy and the players would use the drama and disruption plus playing in front of a rabid Queensland crowd to their advantage on Wednesday night.

"This is do or die stuff for them," Smith said.

If they don't win, that's five in a row.

"They'll be as backs-to-the-wall as you can get."

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