NSW hardly Blue after Origin loss - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

NSW hardly Blue after Origin loss

By Laine Clark 26/05/2011 03:57:11 PM Comments (0)

At first, the scenes in the NSW dressing room after Origin I would have brought a smile to any Queensland fan's face.

But on closer inspection, there was cause for concern.

Sure, the Blues were devastated after yet another Queensland comeback sealed a 16-12 win at Suncorp Stadium on Wednesday night.

However, a sense of defiance resonated from NSW - and it didn't take a genius to locate the source.

It was easy to lose sight of diminutive NSW coach Ricky Stuart in their crowded dressing room.

But his influence was obvious.

Plastered around the walls were posters spruiking what could only be described as "Stuartisms".

Most weren't exactly succinct, but all were from the heart.

And they all sent the same message - Queensland finally have a fight on their hands.

"Demonstrate to all there is no better teammate and no better opponent than a NSW Blue", read one.

Stuart stood quietly sipping a beer under another that read: "You are what you think you are".

And by the time the Blues collected their gear - and thoughts - and left the dressing room, they all shared his steely gaze.

"The way Ricky has brought this side together, no one can question the passion in that NSW jumper," Blues rookie pivot Jamie Soward said.

"We all give 100 per cent."

Soward said the "Ricky Stuart factor" helped NSW come back from 10-0 down to lead by two points in the 69th minute, only for Darren Lockyer to spark another Maroons miracle.

"Ricky was calm at halftime and after the game," Soward said.

"We are disappointed we lost but he has given us something to build on.

"I think they (Maroons) had five sets in a row twice in that game and we held them out.

"I don't know how. We just kept turning up for each other.

"That is something that hasn't happened in the past, probably."

Soward believed Stuart had also created a NSW kinship that would rival the legendary Queensland spirit - and didn't want it destroyed by Blues selectors ahead of game two.

"We have a special group here - hopefully we stick together for at least the next few months," he said.

Asked if they could square up the series on June 15 in Sydney, Soward said: "At the end of the day they held serve at home - we've got to do the same.

"We will go home, get 80,000 Blues fans to pump us up and we will be ready to go."

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