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Munster following Pearce blueprint to ping Ponga into space

Cameron Munster's plan to help fullback Kalyn Ponga fire in the State of Origin series opener is as simple as "give him the ball".

The Maroons five-eighth will play on the left, the same side of the field where Ponga has been in devastating form for Newcastle with seven tries in his last six games.

Several of those tries have come on the back of Mitchell Pearce passes and Munster intends to replicate what has been working in clubland for the Knights.

"I won't sugarcoat it, I will give Kalyn the ball," Munster said.

"I have seen the way Mitchell Pearce plays with KP and I will let him do his thing. I don't need to do something I'm not. I don't need to become a KP. I will just give him the ball and let him do his thing.

"You'd be silly not to use him. We've seen what he's done in clubland and then on the big stage [in game two of last year’s Origin series]. He is a confident fullback and in-form fullback.

"I want to give him some early ball and let him get his hands on it. If he does something good, his confidence will grow even more which would be scary to see. It will be great to play alongside him."

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Munster has played one Origin game alongside captain Daly Cherry-Evans in the halves, last year’s 18-12 win in game three, and it was a successful liaison.

The Melbourne pivot, a relaxed and spontaneous footballer, said he was "really excited" about his combination with Cherry-Evans who is more of a game manager and serious character.

"We got the win [in Origin III last year] and really played some decent footy together. That is something we need to do next week," he said.

"The backs are to the wall for me and Chezza and we need to be consistent and lead our engine room around and our big forward pack. We have some good young faces in our team. I'm excited to see Joe [Ofahengaue] and David [Fifita] run out and bash some heads in.

"Chezza is calm and collected and I'm really relaxed. If we have two serious heads on, it wouldn't be too good because we would be butting heads. But I just relax and let Chez run the show.

"He gets to our points and he is the one organising all of it. If I see something, I jump up and put my two bits in but I have to talk a bit more with KP there and get him some more ball."

Munster burst onto the NRL scene as a fullback but is now convinced he would remain in the halves in club football and for Queensland.

"I will end up staying at six. I've put too much weight on to be honest to go to fullback,” he said.

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"Locky [Darren Lockyer] was an idol of mine and no one played this position better than him, but I just have to focus on myself."

"It was a tough one there at one stage. I was getting picked at five-eighth when [Johnathan] Thurston and [Anthony] Milford were injured, so I was the last string there at one stage. I went back to the drawing board and got consistent with things I needed to work on.

"I feel it's been working for me and I'm glad to be the guy in the No.6. It’s on me now to play some decent footy and keep the jumper."

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