Three Origin games have passed since Greg Inglis scored the 15th of his career in Game Two of the 2013 Series. Credit: Grant Trouville. Copyright: NRL Photos
The greatest tryscorer in Origin history hasn't crossed the stripe in 265 minutes of interstate football, and Sam Thaiday wants the media to get stuck right into Maroons teammate Greg Inglis ahead of Game Three of the 2014 Holden State of Origin Series next Wednesday night.
"Bag him out all you want, please do. Say that he's playing terrible because every time that happens he seems to come out and score three or four tries and run over everyone in the team. So if you want to drag him through the papers, do that please, because that will only help us out," Thaiday said.
"Like any great player, when the question is asked of them they always seem to step up and produce."
Ever since scoring doubles in each of his first two Origin matches for Queensland Inglis has been on the path to Origin immortality but having passed Dale Shearer's record of 12 tries with No.13 in Game One of the 2012 Series, Inglis's record has come under threat from close quarters.
A fullback for 26 weeks of the year at club level, Darius Boyd has become the greatest finisher in Origin history playing outside Inglis on Queensland's left edge and has six tries (compared to Inglis's three) over the past three years.
Boyd himself now trails Inglis's record of 15 tries by just one but the Maroons centre seems unfazed by the second-longest dry spell of his Origin career.
"Yeah, just the way the games went this year. It's been low-scoring games; low-scoring events," said Inglis, who has scored just two tries at club level for the Rabbitohs since scoring a hat-trick against the Roosters in Round 1.
"To be honest it's not all about scoring tries. It's about working as a team and working to get that try as a team.
"We've got strike weapons all over the park. We just haven't been able to use them. We've fallen into the trap of not playing our game.
"That’s part of Origin and what Origin is about, when you get two teams from each state competing to try to hold supremacy.
"All I can say is that's Origin football."
Nursing an ankle injury leading into Game Two, Inglis conceded that the disrupted preparation – that included being without first-choice halfback Cooper Cronk for all but 10 minutes of the Series thus far – made it challenging to extend the winning streak to a ninth straight year.
"Losing Cooper was a big part. Obviously myself and a few other players not being able to train for the full week was a part too," he said ahead of his 24th Origin appearance next Wednesday night.
"But you can't take anything away from New South Wales. They played the way he should have.
"It derailed us a bit losing Cooper. But obviously individually, if you're off one per cent then you can lose the game.
"The effort was there but little times throughout the games we dropped the ball. You can’t turn over the ball that much in Origin."
A debutant in 2006 where the winning streak for Queensland began, preparing for an Origin with the Series already lost is foreign to Inglis and many of his teammates but they remain determined to take something out of the Series.
Amidst all of the talk and plans to 'celebrate the eight' at Suncorp Stadium next week, Inglis is desperate to avoid a 3-0 blue rinse.
"I haven't been part of a losing Series – this is my first year. So I really had nothing.... empty feeling… after the game. As a team we all did," said the 27-year-old.
"I know what it's like to lose a Series now. Hopefully I don't experience losing to a whitewash.
"We go back to a bit of a building phase now and let our culture, what we built here, come with it."