Fittler's weird and wacky ways giving the Blues an edge
From the moment Brad Fittler was announced as NSW Origin coach, he was given a free licence to do it his way.
While many have questioned and joked of his tactics, it was apparent the players have bought into his sometimes weird and wacky ways.
After all, he is not the most capped NSW player in Origin history for no reason.
Fittler's had a say in many things – from deciding the side would remain in Sydney as opposed to Kingscliff or Coffs Harbour in the lead-up to games, to allowing the media full access to the squad 24 hours before game one – unheard of in rugby league at this level.
He avoided the team bus on game day and got the side walking from their hotel to the MCG, soaking up all the pre-game build up, as opposed to driving into an underground car park.
Then James Tedesco revealed after a man-of-the-match performance Fittler wanted players in their tightest possible fit for jersey sizes, so opponents had little to grab onto.
On Thursday morning, just hours after their 22-12 victory over the Maroons, he was at it again.
The squad had a meditating session barefoot in a Melbourne park before going their separate ways back to club land.
"We like to feel the earth, the minerals in the earth," NSW prop David Klemmer said on arrival home from Sydney airport.
While one reporter attempted to joke at the comment, Klemmer kept a serious face.
"We've got to buy into this if this is going to work, everyone's got to buy in," he said.
"Freddy brings a different vibe, he's a different dude. He just relaxes you after a win, he gets you back level headed. He tells us we've got one more job to do."
These are methods that could prove a masterstroke by the end of the 2018 series, and bring a different level to an Origin camp that the game has never seen before.
And with 11 debutants, there was no better time for Fittler to start.
"These blokes are freaks of talents, hopefully they can keep performing," Klemmer said, in reference to the baby Blues.
"It's great to win in a big arena, that was awesome but we know what Queensland are about.
"I've been on the end of some nasty losses against them and especially last year. We won the first game and then they come and got us. I've taken a lot out of that.
"Heading into game two we're going to have to knuckle down and look for a big game. They're going to come in with a lot of anger and try to win."
Game I is done and dusted! Don’t miss Game II of Origin at ANZ Stadium on Sunday 24 June. Click here to get your tickets