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Daley's sobering Origin message to Blues

New South Wales at training

Laurie Daley's blunt warning, as his NSW squad aims to make history, is that a repeat of their game one performance won't come close to ending Queensland's State of Origin stranglehold.
Daley's sobering Origin message to Blues
by AAP

By Joe Barton

SYDNEY, June 21 AAP - Laurie Daley's blunt warning, as his NSW squad aims to make history, is that a repeat of their game one performance won't come close to ending Queensland's State of Origin stranglehold.

In the euphoria of their game one victory, coach Daley called his Blues team together and unloaded some sobering facts.

Queensland were well short of their best. They will certainly improve greatly on their home turf in game two.

In the eight times the Blues have travelled to Queensland following a game one victory, they've tasted victory just once - way back in 2000.

And none of the current squad of 17 have ever emerged victorious at Suncorp Stadium in a live rubber.

Most importantly, Daley said, NSW cannot afford to turn over anywhere near as much ball as they did in the second half of their 14-6 win at ANZ Stadium a fortnight ago.

To do so on Wednesday night will ensure that game three in Sydney is a decider rather than a victory march.

Daley's points have been well taken by his team.

"We slipped off a little bit halfway through the first half and then the second half there were a few dropped balls and we did give them some opportunities," Blues enforcer Greg Bird said.

"In front of their home crowd they're going to be a lot stronger and use those opportunities better than they did in Sydney."

The Blues made nine second half errors in that game, compared to the Maroons four, as Queensland finished strongly and hinted at producing a trademark miracle finish.

Blues halfback Mitchell Pearce agreed that Blues' effort won't be good enough this time around.

"They're to going lift and we're going to have to improve," Pearce said.

"We dropped too many balls in that second half compared to their four and it got them back in the game.

"It gave them a sniff. And they nearly took it."

Pearce said while the Blues were treating Wednesday's clash as if it was a decider, they had done their best to erase game one from their memory.

"We've got to rebuild. We've got to start from scratch again," he said.

"We've got to start over, get that good field position and do everything we did right in game one but better. Otherwise it will be a long night up there.

"But I'll back that we've got the game to win up there."

Pearce has learned from Queensland's irrepressible trio of Cameron Smith, Johnathan Thurston and Cooper Cronk to improve his decision-making under pressure in the big moments.

"I think my Origin footy has improved this year," he said. "I'm a bit more aware of what it takes to win now.

"Doing that at a week to week level at the Roosters has helped it become a bit more of a habit.

"Cameron Smith, Cooper Cronk, Thurston ... they're seasoned veterans of that style.

"They're very good at shutting a team down and giving them no breather especially on their home ground.

"That's something I learned out of last year (when Queensland won the series-clinching game three 21-20).

"When the game was on the line, me personally and as a side we didn't capitalise on it.

"I think we did that well in game one and hopefully we can build again in game two.

"But we'll need to otherwise we won't win the game."




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