Blues need to be smarter to win Origin II
DON'T think for a second the NSW Blues squad is getting carried away with its victory in the opening game of the State of Origin series.
Having landed in Coffs Harbour to begin preparations for next week's second match of the series, Blues captain Paul Gallen said coach Laurie Daley let the players know straight away the team didn't play that well despite holding on for a famous 12-8 victory at Suncorp Stadium.
"We've been getting patted on the back for the past two weeks but when we got into camp yesterday 'Loz' showed us video of basically what we did do well and what we didn't do well," Gallen said.
"At the end of it we came to the conclusion that we probably didn't play as well as we thought we did.
"We were very courageous and we showed a lot of ticker and blokes really toughed it out but as far as sticking to our game plan, especially in that second half, we went right away from it.
"We have to play a lot better because we know Queensland are going to better. If we can play to our potential in Game II then we know we can go in even more confident."
Speaking on Sky Sports Radio's Big Sports Breakfast hosted by Terry Kennedy and Michael Slater, Gallen said the Blues were almost their own worst enemy in the second half of the first game when Queensland often had them defending grimly on their own line.
"In the second half, Queensland really started to rev up and we went into a mode where we just decided we wanted to play tough instead of smart," he said.
"Everyone knows we're tough and origin is a hard arena to play in but to beat this side we've got to play a bit smarter.
"We went away from that in the second half but luckily we managed to hold on in that last 20 minutes with the amount of defence we had to do, which is why it was such a great win. And it's why we've been getting patted on the back for the past two weeks.
"As we know though one game's not going to do it, we've got to win another game and we've got a great opportunity to do it in Sydney in front of our home fans so we've really got to be as well prepared as we can be going into this one."