Qld Origin 'in golden era', says Smith - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Qld Origin 'in golden era', says Smith

By Wayne Heming 17/06/2010 03:10:06 PM Comments (0)

Victorious Queensland hooker Cameron Smith rates the dominating performance of his forwards in crushing NSW 34-6 as the best of his 20 State of Origins.

And man-of-the-match Darren Lockyer confirmed Smith's assessment, declaring the 80 minutes Queensland's most complete performance in their five year winning streak.

Smith and halfback Johnathan Thurston sung the praises of their young forwards on Thursday with Ben Hannant, Dave Shillington and Matt Scott proving they are ready to step into the boots of retiring props Steve Price and Petero Civoniceva who watched Wednesday night's game from the Suncorp Stadium stands.

"I don't think I've played behind a forward pack my 20 Origin games that have been so dominant," said the Melbourne Storm rake.

"I saw it in the first match in Sydney (which Smith missed through injury) and I experienced it out there on the field.

"I know the Folaus, the Salters and the Inglises get talked about all the time and they score the points.

"But those blokes in the middle did a great job for us because the Blues threw a lot at us early and they just kept putting them on their backs.

"I know Petero and Pricey who've been in camp with us and have been talking to the young front-rowers, would have been very proud of their efforts.

"Those guys up front are still fairly young but they played like those two older blokes."

Smith said the enormity of what the current crop of Maroons had achieved under Mal Meninga and Lockyer would probably not sink in until they retired.

With such a young group who've now been together for three or four years there's a feeling they can write their names into history, starting with Queensland first series clean sweep since 1995 in Sydney next month.

"We're in a golden era at the moment, five series in row," said Smith.

"It's what dreams are made of.

"You always want to win one Origin series, let alone five in a row."

Smith said he was honoured to be part of such a special group of players.

"Our success over the last five years has come down to keeping the same group of blokes together with some older heads like Locky and Petero and Pricey.

"The selectors and the coach have stuck with some young blokes, they've put their trust in us and we've done some special things.

Smith scoffed at fears Queensland's record streak had killed off Origin, especially from dejected NSW fans calling for Blues selectors and coach Craig Bellamy to be sacked in the wake of their 10th loss in the last 14 Origins.

"It's disappointing to hear those sorts of comments," said Smith.

"Origin is the best football you can see in the world," said Smith.

"No matter what state is winning ... we've won five in a row, NSW were on the verge of winning four in a row before that.

"At the moment we're getting a few wins on the board.

"In the future it will change. NSW have got a very good side but they just need to find that formula to win matches.

"Origin is such a huge part of rugby league and no matter what the results are, I don't think it will ever die.

"People turn up in their droves to watch it, I don't that will ever change."

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