NSW have to improve to win: Bird - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

NSW have to improve to win: Bird

Steve Jancetic 03/07/2011 02:40:31 PM Comments (0)

As good as they were in winning game two to send the State of Origin series to a decider, NSW backrower Greg Bird concedes the Blues will have to improve if they are to clinch the series on Wednesday night.

That's because Bird knows that Queensland will be better than they were in Sydney, when they were ambushed by a Blues side which used its mobility to great effect.

The element of surprise is gone, while the Maroons will have revenge, a parochial crowd and the 'Lockyer factor' - with Darren Lockyer playing his last Origin game - to spur them on.

"... if we go out and play exactly the same game as we did in game two, we'll get beaten," Bird said.

"They're going to be better and if we're not better, if we don't counteract them being better we'll get beaten.

"We have to go out there and improve ... we didn't play a perfect game in game two, there's definitely areas there which we can improve and areas of their game that they're definitely going to improve, so we're taking that attitude in."

NSW made a dramatic improvement in their handling between games one and two, turning the tables on a Queensland side that dominated territorially in the series opener.

After completing just 63 per cent of their sets in Brisbane, NSW completed at a phenomenal 89 per cent rate in game two, committing just five errors to the Maroons' ten.

While much has been said about the Blues being a better attacking unit with their mobile rotation of backrowers, the more athletic line-up limiting the Maroons to just one try in game two.

It is worth noting Cameron Smith's four-pointer came as a result of some slow cover-defence from prop Trent Merrin, who has been omitted from the Blues squad travelling to Brisbane for the decider.

The Blues also found great success in attacking Queensland from dummy half in Sydney, but Bird said NSW coach Ricky Stuart was smart enough to know the side would have to mix things up a bit more in game three.

"There was areas in their game that I think we can attack more and areas in our game which after looking at the video they're going to attack us on, so we need to strengthen those up," Bird said.

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