Fittler expects ANZ Stadium to produce points
Brad Fittler expects a revamped ANZ Stadium surface to produce more Origin points than Sydney has seen in years as NSW prepare to again unleash arguably the fastest backline in the state's history.
Fittler is famous for his pitch reports during his Channel Nine commentary duties, and is the only coach who has ever bailed up ANZ curator Graeme Logan for a discussion on how his grass is growing.
The Blues mentor checks in weekly with Logan to talk all things turf, and says Origin II will see a departure from what's perceived as a typically greasy Olympic Park track that has made points hard to come by for the best part of the last decade.
Not since game three 2010 has a team scored more than 20 points in an Origin at ANZ Stadium (when Queensland won 23-18), with NSW averaging just 13 points a game in their last 10 appearances in Sydney.
Persistent rain across the Harbour City played havoc with the Blues training earlier this week, but clear skies across the weekend will ensure a dry track come kick-off on Sunday night.
But with speed demons James Roberts and Josh Addo-Carr able to crack upwards of 36 km/hr and the livewire ruck work of Damien Cook and James Tedesco crucial in game one, Fittler expects a more free-flowing contest with the series on the line.
"I think if anything ANZ is looking better than it's ever looked," Fittler said before Saturday's captain's run.
"I think it'll be a little bit different to what we normally see at ANZ Stadium, there's more grass at ANZ Stadium than there's ever been. It will be a great pitch for the game.
"The boys with footwork will be very happy when they get out there, the field's in great nick."
While the chance to give Roberts and fellow blockbusting rookie Latrell Mitchell quality early ball is in play, Fittler is well aware of the firepower Queensland are packing out wide as well.
Maroons skipper Greg Inglis has dubbed Sunday's encounter the biggest occasion of his decorated Origin career, an ominous prospect considering his physical presence throughout the 22-12 loss at the MCG.
"It'd be nice [to get Roberts and Mitchell into the contest from the outset] but they get up pretty quick, they're a pretty good team we're playing," Fittler said.
"They're also aware that we've got some pretty good centres and the same with their centres so we're trying to do the same with them.
"[Inglis] is a smart fella, he realises that this is the only opportunity he's getting to prepare for a game. This is the biggest game for him without a doubt.
"The way he played in game one just showed he wants to leave a mark and he wants to leave a mark as a captain.
"He was absolutely brilliant in the first game and if we can have a little bit more control around what he will do and what he does it will go a long way to getting us a result."