Origin loss carved in stone says Lockyer - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Origin loss carved in stone says Lockyer

By Wayne Heming 29/06/2010 06:19:02 PM Comments (0)

Darren Lockyer says Queensland's third game meltdown in 2009 is a permanent reminder of what happens if they prepare poorly for Origin battle with NSW.

"It's there forever," declared Queensland's 31-game Origin hero who along with teammates still bare the scars of the embarrassing 28-16 crash to the Blues in front of 52,439 fans at Suncorp Stadium last year.

"I believe we've won this series on the back of the disappointment of game three last year.

"We were too relaxed. We got into that party mode thinking it would be too easy.

"We got our butts kicked and we deserved it.

"But it was a blessing in disguise. We refocused and our preparations (for games one and two this year) have been spot on.

"As long as Mal (Meninga) is coach and as long as this group is together, we'll always refer back to that game knowing if we ever prepare like that again, that's what we're going to cop.

"It's there forever and we'll always use it as reference."

It was revealed after the loss that some Queensland players had over-indulged in their celebrations over a record fourth straight series win.

An aggressive and desperate NSW avoided a series clean sweep in a fiery game which left a bad taste in Queensland's mouth.

With 12 of the 17 players involved in that loss named for Wednesday night's Origin III in Sydney, Lockyer said Queensland had a chance to redeem themselves.

They will line up against a NSW side containing eight changes and four debutants who'll have to play out of their skin to prevent Queensland from celebrating their first clean sweep since 1995.

While accepting they let themselves and their fans down in the corresponding game last year, Lockyer said the watershed result would ensure no future Queensland team went into an Origin again without being properly prepared.

"The way I'm pitching it is that we need to put the fact that we won the series aside, the fact that we won the last five series aside and just focus on this one game," he said after Queensland re-instated warhorse prop Petero Civoniceva at the expense of Bulldog Ben Hannant.

"We need to put all our energies into winning this one game.

"We've failed on a couple of occasions now to do it (clean sweep) and this is another chance to do what we have failed to achieve previously.

"I've lifted the (Origin) shield aloft twice when we've lost on the night and while it's good to have won the series, it leaves you with mixed emotions."

Hooker Cameron Smith, a little bewildered by the make-up of the NSW side, agreed with his skipper.

"We owe our fans an apology for the third game last year and I can assure them we will never prepared like that again," said Smith when the Queenslanders entered camp at the tranquil Hyatt Coolum resort on the Sunshine Coast on Tuesday.

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