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Maroons will be fine without me: Smith sees history repeating

After yet again reiterating that he won't be making an Origin comeback, Cameron Smith believes the plight facing the Maroons is similar to what he endured when he made his Queensland debut in 2003.

The Blues were the dominant side for much of the 1990s and early 2000s and when Smith entered the Origin arena 16 years ago he was part of three consecutive series defeats.

That quickly turned as the Maroons – led superbly by Smith – dominated the interstate clash with eight straight series wins from 2006-2013, before NSW finally broke their dominance in 2014.

Queensland won another three trophies on the trot before the Blues' series win last year.

The loss of Maroons legends Johnathan Thurston, Billy Slater, Cooper Cronk and Greg Inglis to retirement plus a host of recent injuries to key Queensland players including Daly Cherry-Evans and Andrew McCullough has the Blues heading into the 2019 Holden State of Origin series as the clear favourites.

Smith is confident the Maroons will find players capable of performing well in the Origin cauldron, even if that process may take longer than first expected.

Storm v Eels - Magic Round

"There was a time in my Origin career when I first started out there was an influx of young players and results weren't great for Queensland at the time, but we turned things around and ended up winning eight series in a row," Smith said in Melbourne on Wednesday.

"But it took a couple of years of heartache to turn that around and maybe that is the situation for Queensland at the moment.

"I am confident that we will find players this year, next year and in years to come that will go out and perform well for Queensland."

There have been reports in recent weeks of Smith coming out of Origin retirement but the veteran hooker once again indicated this wasn't on his radar.

Smith said he would provide Kevin Walters with advice should the Queensland coach seek his help.

"The [NRL] competition is still running while Origin is on, so it is hard to actually have any direct involvement," Smith said.

"But if Kev was to ring me and ask for my advice on game plan or my thoughts on certain players I would give him my opinion.

"But as far as having any direct involvement or any substantial involvement, it is pretty hard."

Smith will instead put all his efforts into helping Melbourne reverse their recent slide in which the Telstra Premiership heavyweights have dropped two of their last three games.

Things were rosy when the Storm were undefeated through the first five rounds, but losses to the Roosters and Sharks in recent times has resulted in Smith and his teammates being put on notice by coach Craig Bellamy.

Smith said it was crucial the Storm were able to turn things around quickly and remains confident his team will be able to do so when they face the in-form Eels in Brisbane as part of the NRL's Magic Round on Saturday night. 

Magic Round hotspots around Brisbane

He was speaking in Melbourne on Wednesday as part of a promotion for today being World Ovarian Cancer Day, wearing his underpants on the outside of his training gear as part of the efforts to raise awareness.

"For some of the coaches and some of the players last week's performance was almost the final strew for us," he said.

"We are coming into a pretty important period of the season with Origin starts and we are going to lose a couple of guys to that.

"We need to be banking some wins over the next month to ensure at the end of the year we are up fighting for a finals spot."


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