After ending Queensland’s eight-year Origin domination, NSW players have vowed to begin their own dynasty by completing the first series “Blue rinse” since 2000 with victory in the third match at Suncorp Stadium.
The Blues won their first series since 2005 when they beat the Maroons 6-4 at ANZ Stadium on Wednesday night but will not collect the Origin trophy until after Game III in Brisbane and want to ensure they are able to celebrate by winning that match too.
More importantly, the NSW players believe they can gain a psychological advantage by completing a clean sweep of the series for only the fourth time in Origin history and the first time since Brad Fittler captained the Wayne Pearce-coached Blues to a 3-0 whitewash in 2000.
“We don’t just want to win the series, we want to win every game,” five-eighth Josh Reynolds said. “That is ruthless and that is how I think you have got to be. It hasn’t been done for a few years so why not create more history.”
Of NSW’s three previous Origin series clean sweeps in 1986, 1996 and 2000, only the first required the Blues to win twice in Brisbane.
But second-rower Ryan Hoffman, who was voted the NSW player’s player by his teammates on Wednesday night, said playing at Suncorp Stadium held no fears for the Blues.
“Winning one game in Queensland is good but winning two would be even better,” Hoffman said. “That is another target and we have just got to make sure we keep putting in the same effort that we have done because there would be nothing better than picking up that trophy with a big smile on our faces.”
Prop James Tamou said another win in Origin III would prove beyond doubt that NSW was the dominant state once again.
“Obviously Queensland are going to come out firing,” Tamou said. “What we’ll see is that pride with them, they will want to get one up with the series being over. It will be important for us to put that exclamation point on the whole series, just to show them there’s a wind of change. We’ve got the players to do the job, we’ve shown going up to Suncorp it can be done.”
Backrower Greg Bird also said that rather than Wednesday night’s win marking the end of the Maroons domination, it could be the beginning of a new era for the Blues.
“Hopefully the dynasty can switch hands again and we can win a few,” Bird said. “It’s going to be a lot of hard work and, starting from the next game, they’re not going to lie down. They’re going to come out firing again and we’re going to have to be strong, like we have been the last couple of games.”