NSW rake enjoys pre-Origin banter - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

NSW rake enjoys pre-Origin banter

Laine Clark 04/07/2011 12:33:30 PM Comments (0)

If anyone knows the power of a few choice words, it is master niggler Mick Ennis.

But the NSW hooker reckons Blues' coach Ricky Stuart's warning of a Queensland dirty tricks campaign ahead of Wednesday's State of Origin decider have been blown out of proportion north of the Tweed.

Stuart raised eyebrows last week when he claimed the Maroons would resort to anything to disrupt NSW in a bid to help retiring skipper Darren Lockyer bow out a winner.

Initially, Ennis cheekily tried on Monday to further fan the flames.

"We are scheduled for a session at Suncorp (Stadium) tomorrow so let's see if they let us in there," Ennis dead-panned.

Pressed on his comment, Ennis couldn't keep a straight face any longer.

"That is a sarcastic comment, mate," he smiled.

"Look, that's been blown out of the water, those little comments (by Stuart).

"This is our base now. It's a great place to knuckle down and get ready for Wednesday night."

Not that Ennis isn't enjoying the Origin banter ahead of game three.

And thanks to some cheeky baggage handlers, NSW didn't have to wait long for the Queensland sledging to start after touching down on Sunday night at Brisbane Airport.

"Last night, a couple of the bags came out on the carousel with "go Queenslander" on them," Ennis smiled.

"That's good - everyone is in the spirit of it. It is a great time for rugby league."

While Stuart's comments have created a stir north of the border, Ennis said the NSW coach has kept them focused on the job at hand, as Lockyer tributes flowed in ahead of Origin III.

"It is Locky's final game. It has been pumped up and rightly so - the guy is a legend and an icon of the game," Ennis said.

"No doubt there will be no seats left at the ground and 95 per cent of them will be Queenslanders - the rest will be our families, I imagine.

"They will want to send him off with a fairytale.

"We know we have a job to do that is very difficult but there is belief in the camp.

"That's a credit to Ricky - the focus has been on us and what we need to do.

"I am sure when we get to Suncorp on Wednesday night, we will be ready to play the footy we know we can play and not be overawed by what is going on around us."

Usually not one to become tongue tied, judging by his title as the NRL's best sledger, Ennis did slip up when talking about game three.

And NSW fans will hope it isn't an omen of what is to come.

"There is plenty of motivation for us - we have lost six, ah, five series in a row," Ennis said.

Asked what it would mean if NSW lost a record six straight, Ennis said: "I haven't really thought about it to be honest.

"I have been thinking about the other scenario.

"It certainly wouldn't be pleasing.

"It is certainly something I hope I don't go through again."

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