Ahead of the Sydney leg of the three test series of Origin, former Blues coach and seasoned NRL commentator Phil Gould has laid six steps NSW needs to take in order to break the Maroons eight year streak.
With high-stakes riding on this weeks game, Gould has asked the NSW players to look back at the their previous performances in order to give it their best shot in the second head-to-head on Wednesday night.
“You need to be honest about what you see. If you are, you can use it to your advantage. If you ignore your past, you will only repeat the mistakes you have made.”
Here are Gould’s six steps to victory:
1. Know your enemy
“The first thing NSW must acknowledge is that the Queenslanders are right back where they love to be. They’re behind in the count and everyone is writing them off. They thrive on being the underdogs.”
2. Game I was won by NSW – it wasn’t lost by Queensland
“Queensland may try to convince themselves that they lost it rather than NSW winning it; but that’s simply not the case.
“…when you win a game of such high quality, you certainly didn’t fluke it.”
3. The Start
“The opening gambit from both sides will be vital to how the rest of this match might be played.
“…The Blues need to be on the pace from the jump.”
4. The Middle
“Remember, Queensland won the second half (of Game I) 6-2.
“There was a noticeable lift in their intensity. Some of the hits were simply brutal. They attacked the NSW ball runners in numbers and dominated the collisions.
“Do it to them, before they do it to you. Be confident and aggressive at all times.”
5. The End
“In the past eight years of Queensland dominance, just about every contest that was still in balance with less than 10 minutes left on the clock…
“Coach Laurie Daley has done a wonderful job instilling such a resolve in this current NSW team. Probably better than I’ve ever seen it before. The NSW players came together in those dying minutes.
“That’s an Origin team. The Blues can build on this mentality. It was a wonderful performance. Now the Blues just have to do it all over again.”
6. The Preparation
“…look beyond what happened. Look more at what could’ve happened. Don’t just watch where the ball went. Look to where it could’ve gone.
“Understand that Queensland will be at their absolute best. They are the champions, they are proud and they won’t be giving up without a fight.
“But please, also understand that Queensland gave their absolute best in Game I only three weeks ago. You found the courage to beat them then. It’s definitely in you to beat them again.
“Eight is enough. This is your time.”
Read Phil Gould’s full message to the Blues in The Sydney Morning Herald.
GO THE BLUES.
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