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Cook backs Cleary and Cody to shine if given half a chance

NSW hooker Damien Cook says the onus is on the Blues forward pack to allow new halves combination Cody Walker and Nathan Cleary to flourish in the must-win clash at ANZ Stadium on Wednesday.

The Blues will go into game two with a new-look left edge after Roosters pair Boyd Cordner (concussion) and Luke Keary (dropped) were casualties from the first encounter.

Cordner (148 metres) and prop Daniel Saifiti (157 metres) were the only NSW forwards who reached the century mark in last week's 18-14 loss to the Maroons in Adelaide.

Queensland generated similar running metres overall with an even 50 percent possession rate but middle-men Josh Papalii, Jai Arrow, Tino Faasuamaleaui and Lindsay Collins proved the difference as they ran through the Blues pack.

For Cleary in particular, who is yet to produce a line break or try assist in six Origin appearances, his position in the Blues line-up has come under question recently.

"I've got to make sure I'm getting our forwards on the front foot and to give Nath some momentum," Cook told

"He was kicking off the back foot last week. We put him under a lot of pressure but to his credit, he was still getting some nice kicks away.

"We've spoken about how best to protect him, whether they act as a bit of a blocker or get out of the road to give him enough space.

"We need to be more disciplined with the ball and earn the right to play footy. We know if we do that we've got the outside backs to finish things off.

Ownership and dominance at forefront for Cleary

"The signs were all there we just turned over possession and Queensland took advantage of that."

Cook said the Blues owe it to his South Sydney teammate Walker to provide a better platform to shine than they did a year ago when he was taken from the field in the second half after a lacklustre showing on debut.

"I hope we can do a better job for him and that combination than we did last time," Cook said.

"We let him down last year. We have to get on the front foot with quick play-the-balls and give him the chance to play some footy because that's when he's at his best.

"Hopefully we can get that little combination from Souths back as well but it's also a matter of just Just keeping our cool and knowing we can do it.

"It's the best thing about this series, we can move on from it quickly and there's no two-week gap where you keep it at the back of your mind."

Freddy's greatest ever NSW team

Cook and Walker are expected to link with Angus Crichton on the left edge, while Dally M Medal winner Jack Wighton is looking to bounce back after a disappointing performance in the centres.

Wighton hasn't needed any reminding this week of the fact he had a game-high seven missed tackles in Adelaide, including one that led to a try to Xavier Coates.

"I had that miss and it was pretty bad obviously but apart from that I enjoyed being back in the centres," Wighton said.

"[The battle with Gagai] it's good, he's one of those Origin players that steps up.

"That's what you've got to do, put yourself out there, it's a game of football and you can't always control things the way you want to. Things happen and you move forward."

Shattered Gutherson ready for Origin redemption

Wighton was confident his combination with winger Daniel Tupou would benefit from the quick turnaround between games.

"That's the challenge in itself as well, getting to know the players you are alongside and trying to gel straight away," he said.

"He's chill, big Toops, but he does a lot of hard work and he's a good player."

Game two tickets start from $45 for members and $49 for general public or get your wig and experience the Blatchy’s effect from $85 for members or $90 for the general public 

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