Start won't blunt my attack: Ennis - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Start won't blunt my attack: Ennis

David Beniuk 09/06/2011 07:02:17 PM Comments (0)

NSW hooker Michael Ennis is confident the ferocious opening exchanges won't blunt his creativity in Wednesday night's must-win State of Origin clash with Queensland.

Ennis will almost certainly start in Origin II at ANZ Stadium after durable St George Illawarra No.9 Dean Young was left out of the Blues side for game two for benchman Kurt Gidley.

The Canterbury No.9 sat out a furious early assault from the Maroons at Suncorp Stadium last month before making a major difference with his clever play around the ruck when injected into the game after 25 minutes.

"I'd certainly love to be out there from the start and if I get that opportunity I'll certainly enjoy that," Ennis told AAP on Thursday.

"You always want to start the game. I think any player wants to start the game, especially in an Origin game.

"It's always a great battle, that first 20, 25 minutes."

Ennis says he'll still have plenty in the tank if the Blues can get a more even share of possession than they did in Brisbane, where Queensland made 185 runs to NSW's 127.

"Hopefully we just get a fair share of the footy and, if we can complete our sets and make those guys come off their line instead of the way it was in game one, you tend to be able to conserve a bit of fuel," Ennis said.

"Certainly I need to be very dominant and controlled through the ruck there and ensure that I'm getting the big boys over the advantage line and hopefully getting Queensland going backwards, which would be nice."

Despite the early Origin I barrage, the Maroons actually upped their possession - to a massive 61 per cent - in the second half as NSW desperately hung on.

Former Blues skipper Gidley is most likely to be used to give Ennis a breather, while adding his own dimension in attack.

"He'll certainly come on and play around that middle third of the field which hopefully will trouble the Queensland guys," Ennis said.

"If I have to come off for that period of time I'll just try and make sure I recover as well as I can ... to ensure when I come back on I can bring something back to the team."

Ennis experienced the early ferocity of Origin last year but debutant Will Hopoate and props Paul Gallen and Tim Mannah are set for new experiences in the crucial opening minutes.

Skipper Gallen hasn't played in the front row before, while Mannah's two Origin games have both been off the bench.

"I've been pretty lucky the way I've been blooded into Origin, I got only small minutes in my first couple of games but it's just helped me kind of get my foot in the door and know what's expected of me," Mannah said.

"It's an honour being part of this team but also I don't want to take it for granted, I don't want to be just a passenger.

"The difference between an Origin game and any other game is just about being tough and making sure you can hold your own in there."

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