Forget the hype, Maroons must dominate, says Smith
CAMERON Smith says the Maroons' upset loss in the Origin opener was the rocket the side needed to shake it from complacency.
On the final day of the team's camp at Coolum yesterday, the Queensland captain spoke frankly about the side's attitude heading into Game I, accusing the team of believing its own hype.
The Blues ran out to a 14-0 halftime lead before Queensland staged an unsuccessful comeback, leading Smith to decry the side as "notoriously ordinary starters".
He said there were few positives to come out of the game, however he pointed to the Maroons' litany of missed chances as proof they could be competitive in tomorrow night's return bout at Suncorp.
Smith described the result as the reality check needed to rock the side from blissful contentment following seven straight series wins and promised an improved start.
"It relates to that attitude, knowing we have a good footy side. You hear it all the time. 'How good is this footy side', 'What about the backline', and 'It's probably going to be one of the greatest Queensland sides to play the game'," he said.
"It's only human nature for that to sit at the back of your mind. So I guess it's a bit of a reality check for the boys.
"It comes back to your attitude towards starting the match well and knowing that
you're coming up against a quality team that if you give them a head start they're not going to let you back in it."
Smith said Queensland's revised game plan would revolve around getting more ball into the hands of superstars Greg Inglis and Johnathan Thurston.
Inglis (11 receives, 57m, 1 tackle break) and Thurston (6 runs, 39m, 1 tackle break) had quiet games by their own lofty standards.
Thurston battled a virus and hamstring injury in the lead-up to game one while Inglis played behind a beaten pack.
Smith made no secret of Queensland's desire to get the ball to their star playmaker and strike weapon, describing them as key to the team's fate.
"(Inglis) is the most dangerous ball carrier in the game. Perhaps the most dangerous the game's ever seen," he said. "He needs to touch the ball a lot more than he did in game one. I think he touched the ball 11 times; we probably have to double that and give him more opportunity.
"Along with GI, Thursto needs to get more of the ball as well. I know he was carrying that groin injury into game one and didn't have as much say on the game as what he'd like to. But he and GI created one try for Darius (Boyd) so I dare say they'll be getting a lot more this week."