Maroons will deliver, says Meninga - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Maroons will deliver, says Meninga

By Wayne Heming 15/06/2010 08:42:32 PM Comments (0)

History-making State of Origin coach Mal Meninga says his players are ready to deliver Maroons fans the performance they deserved at Suncorp Stadium last year against a NSW side tipped to repeat their aggressive tactics of 2009.

A pumped up NSW beat them up physically in Origin III last year, the fiery clash ending in ugly scenes after Blues prop Brett White knocked out rival Steve Price in a punch-up.

With so much at stake - including a fifth straight series loss - Meninga could not rule out emotions getting out of hand.

"It's been a very unusual build-up. I don't know what sort of emotions may boil over," said Meninga.

"But whatever hand they deal us, we'll be ready for it."

Meninga put the onus on referees Tony Archer and Shayne Hayne to keep control of emotions should things get heated.

"We owe our crowd one for our performance last year when NSW were aggressive and very physical with us," said Meninga.

"I just hope the referees get it right. I hope they manage to keep control and allow both teams a fair and even chance to win the footy game."

Meninga admitted Queensland didn't adapt to the Blues' aggressive tactics well last year.

With NSW coach Craig Bellamy adding enforcers Paul Gallen and Luke O'Donnell to his pack, Queensland will be prepared should the Blues turn it on again.

"We'll just play footy," said Meninga.

"Origin is very aggressive and a very physical battle anyway. We've prepared ourselves for that.

"But we won't back down if something does happen."

The name John Donehue does not appear on the NSW team sheet but Meninga said the presence of the Melbourne wrestling coach or as the Storm prefer to refer to him, their defensive consultant, in the Blues' camp suggested they'd attempt to wrestle Queensland out of the clash.

"Craig's got his wrestling coach in camp again," Meninga said.

"We have to assume they are going to try and wrestle us on the ground and we've done a fair bit of work in that area.

"Hopefully we get our fair shake from the referees on that and both teams are allowed play footy."

Queensland's Hollywood backline, headed by Greg Inglis, Israel Folau and Billy Slater operating off halves Johnathan Thurston and Darren Lockyer, will enjoy a dry track after seeing little ball on a wet and slippery ANZ Stadium in Sydney last month.

But again, their involvement will come down to the forwards winning the war.

The sight of battle-scarred warriors Petero Civoniceva and Steve Price in tracksuits not running with side on Tuesday afternoon would normally spell disaster for Queensland.

But with the arrival of young props Matt Scott, David Shillington and Ben Hannant, Meninga is confident Queensland can handle anything the Blues can come up with.

"All rugby league games are about forward ascendancy and making sure the forward battle is won so the outside backs can do their job," said Meninga.

Civoniceva missed game three last year and there's a feeling his absence makes it easy for NSW to get heavy-handed.

While acknowledging the leadership of his great front-rower, Meninga said he had the "utmost" confidence the three players - Scott, Shillington and Hannant - to get the job done.

"It's not as if any of them are foreign to how we want to play," said Meninga, adding Price and Civoniceva had been invited into camp at the request of the players.

"They've been very important to what we've achieved over the last four years," he said.

"Petero is a leader of men, Pricey is the same."

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