Queensland Maroons forward Aidan Guerra trains ahead of Holden State of Origin II.

Little things have big impact for Guerra

New South Wales fans cherish Michael O'Connor's right boot for the majesty it delivered in Game Two, 1991 and while Aidan Guerra's left shin won't be held in quite such esteem in years to come it was another example of Origin's small margins.

As Blues centre Josh Morris cut back on the inside of Maroons opposite Greg Inglis in the 66th minute of Game One with his team trailing by two points he got close enough to the try-line to convince touch judge Jeff Younis to instruct referee Gerard Sutton to send it to the Bunker as a 'try'.

But they didn't account for the late movement of Guerra's left leg that pushed back against Morris at the critical moment when he was looking to force his way into the in-goal.

"That game really typified what Origin's about," Guerra told NRL.com in the build-up to Holden State of Origin Game Two. "Both sides, it was an 80-minute tussle and at the end of it both teams walked away from it with their heads held high. It was fierce out there and just two points in it so to be a part of a win like that was pretty special.

"You go into the game and all you want is to have a positive impact for the side and do your state proud. All the little things that happen in the heat of the battle they just happen. There's not too much time to think out there.

"They were running plays pretty relentlessly at us and you just want to turn up and be the one that's dependable.

"You look at the players that have been in this arena for so long and they're the guys that no one would ever say that they can't be depended on.

"They've done it time after time and I'm very privileged to be in the side with players like that."

It's a mentality that has pervaded Queensland teams since the State of Origin concept was first spawned and that has become the bedrock of their decade of dominance in recent years.

As new players come into the squad they are indoctrinated into the Queensland mentality and coach Kevin Walters said that it is a commitment driven by the playing group itself.

"I can remind them about it but they're a really tight bunch of blokes and they really don't want to let each other down," Walters said. 

"I'm sure NSW have the same strategy and it just comes down on the night to who wants it the most.

"Little things like that make all the difference. We see it week to week in the NRL but it's more highlighted at the next level.

"Dane Gagai's knock down of a pass was a pivotal moment in Game One and we expect our players at every opportunity to do whatever they can to get the ball a metre further forward or make that tackle that they're not supposed to make or get underneath the football when NSW are going to try and score.

"It's great that Aidan's aware of that and we thank him for his shin, that's for sure."

A constant in the Queensland team since making his debut in the opening game of the 2014 series, Guerra plays his eighth game for the Maroons on Wednesday night seeking another high point in what has been a difficult season at club level.

His Roosters sit in second-last position on the Telstra Premiership ladder with just three wins from 13 games and Guerra has been shifted between second row, lock, five-eighth and centre as coach Trent Robinson sought solutions to his team's problems.

At Origin level he has started five times in the back row for the Maroons and admitted that there are a range of emotions he experiences when he is forced to watch the opening exchanges from the bench, as will be the case at Suncorp Stadium next Wednesday.

"The role in general doesn't really change, you just sit on the sideline and go through every different emotion while the game's going," said the 28-year-old who played 27 minutes in Game One.

"You're nervous, then you're frustrated and then you get to see the game, you get a little bit jittery but once you get out there it's business as usual.

"You sit there and you have the opportunity to see the starters do what they're doing and lay the platform and it's just another one where you want to try to add to that and have a positive effect when you come on.

"All that pent-up emotion from sitting on that seat really comes out as soon as you get out there."

This video first featured on qrl.com.au