Buzzing Blues target Origin whitewash
A burning desire to whitewash arguably the greatest-ever rugby league team is behind NSW players’ intensity ahead of the third State of Origin game.
After eight successive series losses, the Blues head to Brisbane for the July 9 encounter at Suncorp Stadium with an unassailable 2-0 lead and are 80 minutes away from etching their names in the record books as only the fourth team to record a clean sweep.
Coach Laurie Daley’s insistence on moving the team’s base to Coffs Harbour and adopting a zero tolerance to bad off-field behaviour have been well documented and proved to be the key to ending Queensland’s dominance.
But prop James Tamou said it would all be for nothing if the team let themselves down by taking their foot off the pedal in game three.
“We’ve spoken about creating our dynasty and what better way of starting that with a 3-0 win,” Tamou told AAP.
The North Queensland star also believes coming away from Brisbane with victory over a team containing potential future Immortals in Billy Slater, Greg Inglis, Cameron Smith and Johnathan Thurston will put this NSW side up there with one of the best ever.
“If you look at their team and the number of world-class players in it, it’s scary,” Tamou said.
“To beat a team with all those players in a series is such a great achievement, but to win it three-nil would be incredible for everyone involved in this team.”
There have been only been seven Origin whitewashes since the concept became a three-match series in 1982, two years after its inception.
Queensland have completed four of them – the last taking place in 2010. NSW last achieved the feat in 2000.
However, the only times the Blues have prevailed twice in Brisbane was in 1996 and 1986, and NSW vice-captain Robbie Farah expects trying to emulate that feat to be the toughest test of the series.
“No way they’ll want to lose three-nil,” Farah said.
“Everyone is talking about how their run is over but they’ll have a point to prove.”
Farah was one of seven players who played in game two who was over 30, along with Paul Gallen, Luke Lewis, Greg Bird, Ryan Hoffman, Beau Scott and Anthony Watmough, and he admits never winning an Origin series had crossed his mind.
“With every year that passes we kind of let another opportunity slip,” Farah said.
“You aren’t getting any younger, you kind of always have that doubt.
“But you don’t lose belief. You continue to work hard.
“Laurie has done a great job instilling the belief, and believing his plan.
“We knew from day one that if we believed in his vision what he wanted us to do he’d have success. I think with the way we’ve played it’s been a reflection on his leadership.”