Smith says less errors the key for Qld - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Smith says less errors the key for Qld

Wayne Heming 29/06/2011 07:18:54 PM Comments (0)

Queensland captain-in-waiting Cameron Smith admits the Maroons strayed from its natural game under pressure in State of Origin II with some impromptu attacking plays failing to come off.

After leading 8-0 early, Queensland fatigued in the second half against a NSW side which pressured them into mistakes.

Both Smith and fullback Billy Slater said the Queensland players were disappointed with their second 40 minutes at ANZ Stadium when they had a golden opportunity to wrap up the series for departing skipper Darren Lockyer, only to come up short.

Smith felt the result would have been different had NSW utility Luke Lewis not cracked Queensland's defence late in the first half.

"I think it would have been a totally different game if they go in 8-0 down (at halftime) we would have had the ascendancy and probably got some momentum," said Smith who will play his 24th Origin in next week's encounter.

"Defensively I thought we were pretty good in Sydney but in the end we had to make a lot more tackles and do a lot more work than they did."

Statistics back up Smith's argument that Queensland made more tackles against a more mobile NSW pack which took a lot of gas out of them in the back half of the game.

However errors were also a major problem for Queensland who uncharacteristically drifted from what has worked so well for them in the past.

"We need to look at our attack in game three," said Smith who is a key component of the Maroons' attack.

"We struggled to build any pressure and in the second half we took some (attacking) options we usually wouldn't take.

"Instead of kicking into the corner we tried a couple of banana kicks and different things that we wouldn't normally do.

"When we were under pressure we probably didn't make the right decisions."

Halfback Johnathan Thurston conceded his kicking game, which was so good in Origin I, had not been anywhere near as good in the return game.

"I created a couple of opportunities for Greg (Inglis) but my kicking game wasn't up to scratch," said Thurston.

"We dominated (kicking) in the first game and they dominated it in the second game so we need to be a lot better there on Wednesday night."

Smith said people forgot how tight Origin games were because Queensland had won the last five series.

"I think people lose sight of the fact that NSW have always been in these games," he said.

"Over the five years we've only really put big scores on them twice or maybe three times out of 15 matches.

"It's a pretty low percentage, people look at five in a row and not the individual results of the matches.

"If you look over the years most of the matches have been like this where we've come from behind with five or 10 minutes to go.

"Game one NSW were right in it and we won by four and in game two they won by eight.

"Origin is always like that.

"It's just people think of Queensland winning five series in a row and think we've dominated.

"We haven't dominated and Wednesday night's game will be a hell of contest and a challenge for every player."

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