Maroons vow to fix attitude for Game Two
Queensland captain Cameron Smith says his side won't be caught off guard again 12 months after New South Wales bounced back from a loss in Game One to send the 2015 Holden State of Origin Series to a decider.
With predictions of a more open style of game in Game Two after the 6-4 slugfest in Sydney a fortnight ago, Smith is wary of the danger that a desperate Blues team brings and any sense of complacency that can come with a 1-0 series lead.
Ten times in the last 16 Origin Series the team that has lost in Game One has come back to win Game Two, something NSW achieved in 2011, 2012 and then again in 2015 when they triumphed 26-18 in Melbourne.
The Blues' win in Game One, 2014 was only the second time since 2004 they had won a live rubber at Brisbane's Suncorp Stadium and Smith conceded that last year in Melbourne the Maroons were caught on the hop.
"We won Game One by a field goal so there wasn't too much separating the teams from Game One but our preparation wasn't as good as what we wanted it to be for that Melbourne game," Smith said.
"Although we were camped down there for the entire 10 days I think their attitude to the game was a lot better than what we were for Game Two.
"We were there to win and we were there to play well but their attitude was better.
"They played with a lot of intensity, particularly from the start and they blew us out of the water.
"It's going to be much the same this time around."
The heart-stopping two-point win in Game One was a dream start to Kevin Walters' coaching career with Queensland but he acknowledges his side will need to be better to match what he predicts will be a much improved NSW team.
In the 34 series since Origin went to a three-match format in 1982 the team that has won Game One has gone on to win on 27 occasions, but Walters believes both teams were able to take confidence out of the series opener at ANZ Stadium.
"You're not so much worried about losing but just getting away to a good start," Walters said.
"If you have a bad performance in Game One it can really ruin your series. We won fortunately and they didn't win but their series is alive because of their performance in Game One.
"They'll get a lot of confidence out of what they did and likewise with us but we know if we don't get better we're going to get beaten.
"I think they've risen to our level, it's up to our guys to go again. We've got to go again otherwise we'll get beaten on Wednesday week."
Although he is predicting more football being played and more points to be scored in Game Two, Smith said the Maroons won't stray too far from the formula that brought them success in Game One and throughout the past decade.
"I don't think our game-plan will change too much because we are 1-0 up," said Smith. "Going in there trying to experiment with things or thinking we can change our style because we are 1-0 up can work against us.
"We just need to play a tight style of footy, make sure we're completing our sets and hopefully get a few more opportunities than we did in Game One.
"You look at most Origin series and Game One is always a pretty low-scoring game, particularly playing in Sydney where it's greasy and it's hard to promote the footy a fair bit.
"Up here you'll see more of an expansive game and hopefully we can get guys like 'GI' (Greg Inglis) more of an opportunity with the footy."