Queensland embrace underdog tag
Darius Boyd and his Queensland teammates are relishing the underdog tag ahead of Game Two of the 2017 Holden State of Origin Series.
The Maroons are heavy outsiders to win at ANZ Stadium on Wednesday night despite their promising recent record at the venue, with Queensland having won three of the past five clashes in Sydney.
This, accompanied with the return of Maroons legends Billy Slater and Johnathan Thurston, means Queensland may be a better chance than their $2.25 Sportsbet odds suggest.
But after being thrashed 28-4 in Game One, it will take a massive effort from all 17 of the Maroons to keep the series alive and many see this as a bridge too far for a side going through a self-confessed stage of transition.
For Boyd, this is the way he likes it, with the versatile outside back telling media that all the pressure is on New South Wales to seal the series at home in front of 80,000 fans.
"I don't mind it because there's no pressure [on us] but pressure is whatever you make it out to be," Boyd said.
"No one is talking about us. Everyone's talking about the Blues and what they're going to do on their home turf.
"People are saying 3-0 and all this other stuff so we just need to prepare well.
"We did that last game but I suppose we were too nice and our energy was off in a few key areas.
"It's something that we really need to focus on this week and make sure we go down there with the right intensity and the right frame of mind to do a good job."
It is not the first time Queensland have been underdogs, with the Maroons defying the odds on plenty of occasions during their 10 Origin series wins in 11 years.
A milestone like that doesn't happen without belief and that is something the Maroons are built on. This year is no different, with Boyd and his band of brothers confident they can push the series into a Suncorp Stadium decider.
"I am very confident. It's all about energy," he said.
"There's been plenty of years over the past where people have written us off and time and time again we've proven them wrong.
"I feel like the pressure is more on them to be honest. Everyone expects them to win. They are saying it's their year and it's their time, so that's fine.
"Hopefully they believe that and we can go down there and prepare well and do a good job."