Maroons own Mason, says The Axe - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Maroons own Mason, says The Axe

By Wayne Heming 12/06/2007 07:02:18 PM Comments (0)

Trevor Gillmeister, the forward known as "The Axe" for chopping down bigger players, believes Queensland have the measure of NSW enforcer Willie Mason.

Mason has led the calls for retribution against Queensland in Wednesday night's return State of Origin at Telstra Stadium after being on the losing end the last three times the two states have clashed.

Mason threw his 115kg frame around in a damaging display against Queensland in the opening game last year when NSW won 17-16.

But he's copped it from Queensland's hit men since.

He's promised to lead the assault on Wednesday night after he and his forwards held several meetings in the lead-up vowing to hunt as a pack against Queensland.

A number of NSW players will take the field convinced their Origin careers will be over if Queensland win their fourth game in a row.

But Gillmeister said Queensland's "mongrel mob" will deal with Mason and anything the Blues forwards can dish out.

"Willie hasn't got on top of us for the last three games so he won't get on top of us now," said a confident Gillmeister whose rib-rattling hits terrorised NSW players in 22 Origins through the 1990s.

"He got on top of Queensland in the first half of the first game in Sydney last year and Queensland adjusted its defensive hit zone on him.

"He hasn't hurt us since."

Gillmeister doubted the clash would blow up on rookie referee Shayne Hayne after all the verbal punches in the lead-up to the game.

"Mal (coach Meninga) hasn't mentioned it to the players, I know that and I know the players aren't talking about it," he said.

"Nine times out of 10 when you hear all that talk it doesn't eventuate anyway.

"The players don't have that mind set these days to go out there and do that any more.

"I don't have a drama with it because that's not the way the game's played any more.

"We don't think it's an issue, but you just don't know what's going to happen I guess."

Sportingbet Australia reported a surge for Queensland after reports that NSW fullback Anthony Minichiello was in doubt with a back injury.

"We took two bets, one of $12,000 at $2 and one of $10,000 at $2.05 for Queensland as soon as news got out," said Sportingbet's Bill Richmond.

NSW remained favourites at $1.87 to maintain their unbeaten Telstra Stadium record going back to 1999.

TAB Sportsbet has NSW at $1.80 with Queensland at $2.

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