Stuart fearing Origin III ambush - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Stuart fearing Origin III ambush

Steve Jancetic 26/06/2011 07:35:09 PM Comments (0)

NSW coach Ricky Stuart is fearing a State of Origin ambush amid the hysteria surrounding Queensland great Darren Lockyer's Maroons' swansong in the series decider.

Having been a part of Wally Lewis' emotional Origin farewell in 1991, Stuart said he is hoping history won't repeat itself on Wednesday week before a parochial Suncorp Stadium crowd.

"It happened to me in 1991 - I was a player, it was one-all, we were headed to Brisbane, it was Wally Lewis' last game and the whole environment changed," Stuart said.

"It was all about Wally, as it's going to be about Darren.

"Everything that can be a hurdle is going to be thrown at us when we get to Brisbane.

"In 1991, it was like we were invited to the party, but we weren't allowed to have a beer or dance with anyone. We were just there for the party.

"I just really hope this doesn't happen in this game - there's two teams there.

"The occasion won't be too big for my players. I just hope the occasion won't be too big for other people that are involved."

The Brisbane finale was always going to be a special affair the moment Lockyer announced this would be his final year of rugby league.

NSW's ability to square the series heading into the decider has only added to the drama, with Queensland's five-year run as champions in very real danger of coming to an end.

Stuart doesn't need the 'Lockyer factor' to prompt a siege mentality heading into game three.

The Blues coach is still upset at a quirk in the NRL scheduling, which will see as many as eight of the players he named in his 20-man squad on Sunday playing for St George Illawarra or Manly on Monday night.

"Our whole preparation has been turned upside down going into the game - the most important game of the series," Stuart said.

"For our preparation, it's really cut us short - we won't be able to have a full team preparation until the backend of the week - Thursday, Friday - and that will depend on how the players pull up after tomorrow night's game.

"It is disappointing that I've got a number of players playing in this game. It's just fell awkwardly for us."

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