Ennis Origin niggle starts off the field - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Ennis Origin niggle starts off the field

David Beniuk 20/05/2011 06:59:57 PM Comments (0)

It might be that Michael Ennis can't help himself.

When the NSW State of Origin hooker was asked on Friday if it was his job to get under the skin of Queensland opposite number Cameron Smith, he quickly denied it.

But 'The Menace' wasn't quite finished.

"Cam's shown for a long time that he's a pretty composed character and that's not my role on Wednesday night, to try and upset the little hairy man," Ennis joked.

Job done for the man who recently ruffled the previously-unruffable Parramatta captain Nathan Hindmarsh.

Ennis, though, knew Smith would play a major role for the Maroons in Origin I at Suncorp Stadium.

"One of his key focal points is his control around the ruck and he's obviously had that forward pack, give or take a few blokes, for a fair bit of time," Ennis said.

"He knows how they like it and what they need to roll forward.

"I publicly respect Cameron Smith. He's been the benchmark of my position for a long time now."

Ennis said he had studied Smith's game closely, something that had made his own game better.

"I put a lot of work into my game," he said.

"Probably it's made me achieve things in the game that maybe at periods during my career looked out of reach through injury and things like that.

"I've needed to cover all bases to ensure that I achieve what I know I can.

"If I hadn't done the research on certain situations and players in the game, I probably wouldn't be here today."

He said the Blues would find a way to handle the Queensland "spine" of Smith - Billy Slater, Johnathan Thurston and Darren Lockyer.

"You'd be a brave man to say you could shut it down," Ennis said.

"I think we can certainly nullify it.

"With guys like Jamie Soward's kicking game and Josh Dugan's returns of the footy, hopefully we can play the footy down their end and tighten the screws and wait for them to come up with an error and then capitalise."

NSW's interchange hooker Dean Young trained with the side for the first time on Friday after nursing his troublesome left knee through the camp.

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