Conditions will favour NSW: Roach
ANZ Stadium head curator Graeme Logan is confident the playing surface will be in premium condition despite rain being predicted in Sydney ahead of the Holden State of Origin series opener on Wednesday night.
Logan said the tireless efforts of his ground staff coupled with the prolonged stretch of dry weather in Sydney meant the grass would be in pristine condition regardless of the threat of precipitation.
"There's a little bit of rain predicted but that won't bother us," Logan told media on Monday.
"We had five millimetres yesterday and they're predicting 10 tomorrow and 10-15 on game day but it drains really well. It won't affect the surface at all."
The head curator said his crew had been preparing the surface for the past 12 months and was confident the ground would hold up despite the glut of sport and entertainment it had already hosted in 2016.
"It's no different to what the players go through. It's all about peaking at the right time," Logan said when asked about the work that had gone into maintaining the playing surface.
"We've had a bit of traffic on it but it'll handle it pretty well."
Asked whether there was any "doctoring" of the pitch to help the Blues ahead of the series opener, Logan laughed that bias might have come into play.
"It'd be good to run the Queenslanders' noses into it and give it to the guys up north. We're all competitive."
All jokes aside, the wet weather in Sydney leading into the game will undoubtedly benefit the Blues' playing style.
The greasy conditions will limit Queensland's ability to showcase their supreme ball skills, and with three props on the bench the hosts will head into the game full of confidence.
One man licking his lips at the prospect of the heavyweight confrontations on Wednesday night is former Blues big man Steve 'Blocker' Roach.
Roach said New South Wales' bulk on the bench would prove telling if the forecast stayed true given ANZ Stadium's tendency to favour cautious football.
"I like the big boppers, especially if it's going to rain and it's a little bit slippery," the former Balmain Tigers legend said.
"I'm expecting big things from our bench, especially Andrew Fifita. If you have a look at all the stats that have happened this year in the game, he's the best tackle breaker in the game.
"In night games it's always a little bit slippery and a little bit dewy. It's going to be cold, wet and it'll be interesting to see how they'll go.
"You don't have to be a genius to have a look at the way we're going to play. We're going to try to put it to them. That's the way it is and that’s the way we're going to play."