Talismanic skipper rejuvenates Blues
There is a fresh buzz around the Blues camp ahead of Game Two, and it seems like it's down to the return of inspirational captain Paul Gallen.
Gallen missed Origin I with an ongoing glute injury, but made a low-key appearance on the first day before leaving the team to focus on what they needed to do.
There was something slightly muted or low-key about the build-up but that already seems to be gone. Gallen says it's been mentioned to him a couple of times, and while not taking credit for the turnaround, he added he couldn't be happier with the vibe in camp this time around.
"I was only here for one day last time and all the reports coming back from a few people was the feeling was a bit different," Gallen said of the Game One camp.
"I don't know if I have that influence or not but certainly since I've been here, since we got into camp Monday night it's been a good feeling to me, I had a good talk to the boys [Tuesday], training well [so far], we're going to train pretty hard the rest of the week. It feels good."
He said despite the personnel changes of himself and Brett Morris being added to the side after missing the series opener with injury, it felt like everyone had been on the same page straight away.
"We knew what we were doing, there were a couple of new guys obviously myself and 'B-Moz' (Brett Morris), we just slotted straight in, I'm happy with how it's going," he said.
There was a semblance of disorganisation about the Blues late in Game One, with two missed chances at key field goals, but Gallen said his leadership shouldn't make a difference at the time of the game, nor to the overall structure of the team.
"I'm just here to do my job. I don't look at it as a hard task for me, I've just got to come in and do my job, play my role, make my runs, make my tackles, lead the boys at training, that's about it," he said.
And despite all the talk of Queensland's niggling tactics, Gallen said the days of him taking things into his own hands such as in his famous punch-up with Nate Myles in the 2013 series are long gone.
"I don't think so. Those days are gone, ever since that night. I don't have an issue with it, we just go out there and play footy, both sides do. I haven't bought into any of the media attention and I'm not going to, I'm just concerned about getting ready for the game and that's it," he said.