Origin coaches lock horns with heated comments ahead of Origin II

"It was hard not to pick him (Slater) in game one considering he (Boyd) did such a great series a year ago for Queensland and he is the current Australian fullback".

Queensland heads into tonight's game in Sydney needing to win to keep the series alive.

It's the key to the Maroons winning 10 of the past 11 Origin series.

The Maroons selectors put a broom through the Queensland pack after they were dominated in game one, cutting Myles, Thaiday, Jacob Lillyman and Aidan Guerra.

Asked if NSW could expect wrestlemania in game two, Walters said: "I haven't seen Hulk Hogan around".

"They just show you the way - you know you're in good hands", the ex-Queensland and Australian hooker said.

To lose him in game two would be a disaster for coach Kevin Walters. "But all they can do is get ready as best they can and get ready for the onslaught", Walters said.

"It's a huge challenge for our guys, there's no doubt about that, and there's a couple of new faces in the forward pack".

I think NSW is facing a side that it should have been taking on in the first game, with JT the only one missing through injury.

"It's something that we've looked at already".

With game two approaching, we talk all things State of Origin in this week's podcast.

"But they've performed many times for us".

Per Sporting Life's Ian Millward, the Maroons' squad for Game 2 looks much better equipped to deal with the Blues and Thurston's return could prove crucial in a potentially tight encounter.

They will kick long early to make the likes of Fifita and Woods run a long way back to the football.

It's a tactic Blues captain Boyd Cordner has welcomed.

Trump card: Jarryd Hayne at NSW training in Sydney on Tuesday.

"They've got some great inclusions with Johnathan Thurston and Billy Slater, but if we concentrate on what we can do and how we play to get ourselves right it doesn't really matter what they're going to come with because I'm pretty confident if we turn up on Wednesday night we can win".

"I've got no doubt that they will try and limit Fifita's night but in saying that, we've got a lot of other players that can hurt them".

"I just don't see why Laurie and NSW want to drag it up and put the pressure on the referees when they really shouldn't be doing that".

In fact, such is the bond of the Queensland representatives - current and past - they've got a running group chat tying the players together year-round.

"After that first half of football Queensland could have been in front at half-time", he said.

Unlike any team in the past decade, the game-one Maroons failed to carry out their individual assignments.

But Smith has still not lost hope.

Laurie Daley has given Jarryd Hayne a licence to roam on the opposite side of the field and shadow James Tedesco as a second fullback in attack as the NSW coach prepares to play his trump card in a bid for a series-clinching win.

"That certainly planted the seed in wanting to get back here".

  • Zachary Reyes