Blues target rookie Maroons backs
NSW centre Josh Morris is eyeing a rare Origin not having to spend the game marking Greg Inglis as his opposing centre, nominating Origin rookies Will Chambers and Dane Gagai as weak spots the Blues will target in Wednesday's Origin series decider.
Morris is expecting three-game Origin winger and Storm centre Will Chambers to shift from the Maroons' right flank to left centre, leaving usual left winger Darius Boyd and right centre Justin Hodges in place, with debutant Dane Gagai to come in on Queensland's right wing to avoid the side's least experienced players defending next to each other.
"They don’t want to put Dane and Will on the same side with limited experience. They’ll put Will in front of me and Dane alongside Justin Hodges," Morris said.
"The inexperience there from Dane, it’s his first game, he will be feeling a lot of pressure.
"We’ve got to look to expose that. With Will playing out of position as well we can look to expose that. The [NSW] left side [of Michael Jennings and Brett Morris] did a great job in Game Two of exposing them and hopefully we can get a bit more ball this time and expose the right side."
Morris had few opportunities in attack in Game Two, despite scoring a good try from a Mitchell Pearce kick, with just five runs for 22 metres and left centre and Man of the Match Michael Jennings running amok with 14 runs and 139 metres.
Morris is hoping to see a bit more of the ball in attack with an Origin rookie opposite him.
"I'd like to [get some more ball] but you never know. The way Game Two panned out, it was working really well attacking the left side," he said.
"When it's like that, you just have to try and make sure you're doing the right things in defence and when you get the ball, you have to try and make the most if it."
Morris was expecting his usual sparring partner Inglis to be just as much of a handful if not more so in his move to fullback.
"'GI' is probably going to get more of a run up now when I have to tackle him so it’s probably going to be harder!" he laughed.
"You need to go out there and make sure that you limit the opposition’s opportunities, and making sure the man you’re marking up against doesn’t have time to make big plays."
Heading into Game Two, Morris was somewhat disappointed not to be paired with brother Brett on his return from a hamstring injury as coach Laurie Daley looked for minimal disruption to his structure, leaving Josh Morris and Will Hopoate paired on the Blues' right edge.
"Will has my trust and I’ve got his and we work well together," Morris said.
"He is a big boy and he has been really good coming out of our own half with solid runs. We’re building on it. It’ll be nice to see more ball."
Perhaps surprisingly, the softly spoken Morris said he couldn't wait to get to Brisbane and go for a walk down Queen Street Mall to soak up some banter of the parochial Queensland fans, which he said fires him up ahead of the game and provides extra motivation.
"I love going out as soon as we get there, going for a walk, I love it," Morris said.
"It's good to see how passionate they are. If you use it the right way you can use it as motivation. It's good to walk the Mall and see who the brave ones are."
Asked what sort of things he hears, Morris said: "They've obviously got the 'Queenslander' chant. You hear that every 50 metres as you walk through the Mall. Some of the kids, it's just everyone. It's not just the older blokes, the kids get stuck into you as well.
"Some of them are funny, some are a bit over the top. That's Origin, it brings out the passion in people.
"You get blokes from buildings shouting out things and you get the odd bloke coming up to you and saying it to your face. You just have to laugh about it. For me, I use it as motivation. It's always good to get out and see the public."