Origin II could be explosive: Qld's Smith - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Origin II could be explosive: Qld's Smith

By Wayne Heming 07/06/2011 07:18:51 PM Comments (0)

Queensland hooker Cameron Smith believes State of Origin II has the potential to explode with a number of "hot heads" in a NSW side that's expected to play a high-paced, aggressive game.

With NSW coach Ricky Stuart opting for mobile forwards Anthony Watmough and Paul Gallen and having just two specialist props, the Maroons are expecting next Wednesday's return match in Sydney to be a much different affair to the opener.

Queensland have already been warned by referees' boss Bill Harrigan to prepare for a quicker game, the appointment of whistleblowers Shayne Hayne and Ben Cummins for Sydney coming after official complaints with the ruck speed in game one.

Smith admitted on Tuesday that all the elements were there for tempers to flare, particularly after skirmishes rounded out game one.

Asked about the NSW pack which contains known niggler Michael Ennis and firebrand forwards Watmough, Gallen and Greg Bird, Smith said things could get interesting.

"It could be a bit dangerous having that mix," said Smith, heading into his 23rd Origin game.

"If they get a bit frustrated ... and that's what we want to do is build pressure and frustrate them, then we can hopefully get some errors out of them.

"They've got some guys who can tend to get a bit hot-headed at times so we have to make sure we aren't doing that and our focus remains firmly on the game."

Smith said the fact NSW needed to win to level series meant Stuart would probably want his players focusing on football but quickly added "the potential is certainly there".

"It blew up a bit at the end of the first game when the match was over," Smith said.

Smith revealed there'd been talk before Origin I about a possible stink.

"You just don't know with Origin. Sometimes it blows up straight away, sometimes it never looks like happening," he said.

Queensland forward Sam Thaiday, who's adopted something of an enforcer role for the Maroons, said the Blues pack had a "very aggressive" look to it.

"It's a pack that can play a lot of minutes and do a lot of work with a few players like Anthony Watmough and Luke Lewis who can change games," he said.

"They've got a lot of aggressive players which may be the angle they go for.

"Hopefully they won't have much red cordial in their camp."

Veteran Maroon Petero Civoniceva said the Queensland pack had been put on notice against a much more mobile-looking Blues squad.

"They look a lot more dangerous with more points in them," the 31 year-old said.

"We were pretty good defensively in the first game but we know we'll have to go up a few gears in Sydney to contain their attack."

Queensland coach Mal Meninga welcomed big man Dave Taylor back to the fold saying the giant South Sydney forward had fully earned his fourth Origin jumper.

"He was 18th man for the first one and since then he has shown selectors he wants to be back in the footy side," said Meninga.

"He has done what has been asked of him and more.

"He's an X-factor."

Meninga also dismissed concerns over Inglis' lack of match fitness declaring the Rabbitohs star "raring to go".

"Greg has been around long enough to handle what will confront him next Wednesday," said Meninga.

"He's raring to go, buzzing around the camp already, happy to be back."

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