Lockyer says focus off him and on decider - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Lockyer says focus off him and on decider

Wayne Heming 16/06/2011 03:34:45 PM Comments (0)

Darren Lockyer has warned that Queensland can't rely on their home ground advantage and hype surrounding his last State of Origin appearance to win the series decider.

The Maroons skipper admitted it would be difficult to avoid the emotion sure to accompany a huge build-up to game three at Suncorp Stadium after NSW squared the series 18-8 in Sydney on Wednesday night.

"The stage is set, isn't it?" said Lockyer with a smile on Thursday.

But he planned to do his best to ensure talk of his final Origin - a record 36th game - did not become a distraction to his team as they seek a sixth straight series crown.

"I know it's going to be unavoidable but my plan will be to get (media commitments) out of the way early and focus on the game we have to win," he said.

Lockyer believed the fact that NSW had reminded everyone what a good side they were by keeping the series alive would ensure the game was the main focus in Brisbane, not him.

"Now that it's a decider, the focus will be more about winning the game than my farewell," Lockyer said.

"We've got a new challenge.

"The game comes first and the priority is for the team to go out and play its best game, to try its best to win the series."

Lockyer warned Queensland had to guard against the trap of thinking because they were playing back at home in front of their own crowd things would be different.

"We can't just think playing at Suncorp and because it's my last game, things are just going to happen for us," he said.

However hooker Cameron Smith made it clear teammates felt a big responsibility to send Lockyer out on a winning note.

"The boys have known all along it's Darren's last series and so far we've contained it pretty well," said Smith.

"Everyone will know as soon as we get into camp what the game is and how much it means to Locky.

"It's a good thing for us because we won't want to let him down or let our state down.

"Most of all, we won't want to let each other down.

"That's why we've been so successful in the past, we've never let each other down."

Coach Mal Meninga has already said he will maintain faith in his players for game three, with Brisbane centre Justin Hodges the only possible addition if he plays against St George Illawarra on Friday night in his first game back from a recurring hamstring injury.

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