Smith will laugh off Ennis digs - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Smith will laugh off Ennis digs

Wayne Heming 23/05/2011 05:51:48 PM Comments (0)

Queensland hooker Cameron Smith will laugh off any attempts by his NSW rival Michael Ennis to sledge him in Wednesday night's State of Origin opener.

Ennis has a reputation for being able to niggle and get rivals to snap as mild-mannered Parramatta forward Nathan Hindmarsh did against Canterbury earlier this year.

When told Ennis had referred to him in a recent interview as a "hairy little man", Smith found the remark funny rather than offensive.

Right from the early years of Origin, hookers like Greg Conescu and Max Krillich traded insults and blows.

The intense rivalry which existed between NSW chief antagonist Benny Elias and Queenslander Steve Walters during the 1990s produced one of the funniest moments on the field.

Elias was taking his time setting a scrum when Walters piped up and said to the Blues hooker: "it's ok for you Benny, but could you hurry up, I've got a Test to play on the weekend".

The comment, which has gone down in Origin folklore north of the Tweed, was in reference to Walters beating Elias to the No.9 Australian jumper.

Elias and Walters staged many running battles but Smith said Origin had changed since the the days when brawls seem to break out every five minutes.

He said he was more likely to laugh than take a swing at the cheeky Bulldogs hooker if he said anything to him during Wednesday night's clash.

"I enjoy playing against Mick, he's a great player and a tough competitor," said Smith who'd previously battled with Newcastle's Danny Buderus before Ennis and Robbie Farah arrived on the Origin scene.

"I know he tries to get under a player's skin but I enjoy that part of the game. I'm not really a bloke who gets flustered with that part of the game.

"He's never sledged me, he's never said anything to me."

Ennis was Smith's teammate during the All Stars game in February.

"I got on with him really well," he said.

"He's a good bloke. He changes a bit when he gets on the field and I'm looking forward to it.

"I like his tenacity in defence."

Smith said people didn't realise how much work dummy halves got through in a match.

"They enjoy seeing the tries and all the fancy stuff out wide," he said.

"It's not only the hookers, you look at the front rowers and the back rowers how much work they do.

"Mick (Ennis) would touch the ball more than anyone in the NSW team and he's always looking to create something around the ruck for his runners.

"I like how he doesn't mind mixing it with the big blokes."

Queensland have spoken about Ennis's ability to niggle his rivals after he and Queensland forward Nate Myles came to blows during last year's series.

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