Sport

NSW intimidation Origin key

Fans show their colours at the State of Origin.
Fans show their colours at the State of Origin. Keith Rowell

WHEN Tommy Raudonikis was Blues coach in the 1990s, he instigated the now famous “cattledog” call – a message for the Blues forwards to break from the scrum and attack the Maroons with fists flying.

As a player at Western Suburbs Magpies, he and other players famously slapped each other in the face to fire up before running on to the field in club matches.

It is no surprise then that Raudonikis said aggression would be the key for the Blues to take down the Maroons in State of Origin this year.

Raudonikis told the Tweed Daily News yesterday the formidable forward pack chosen for tomorrow night's opening game of the series had an aggressive streak, which they would have to unleash to beat the Maroons.

With Michael Weyman, Michael Ennis and Josh Perry up front and Anthony Watmough, Ben Creagh and Trent Waterhouse in the back row, NSW has an intimidating pack that could hurt their Queensland opponents.

“It is a really good side with a good pack of forwards with plenty of aggression and they will need that to beat them,” Raudonikis said.

It has been painful for the inaugural Blues Origin captain to watch the team slump to four straight series losses. But he said all would be forgotten with a series win this year.

“It has been pretty awful, embarrassing really, but in saying that if we can win this series we will win everything back.”

While Jarryd Hayne has been named on the wing, Raudonikis was looking forward to seeing the slippery Parramatta Eel play plenty of fullback, where he has been tearing other NRL sides apart since mid-way through last year.

Raudonikis was at Duranbah Beach yesterday for a tug-of-war State of Origin promotional event where he was joined by fellow Blues legend Brad Clyde. Also present were Queensland Maroons greats Arthur Beetson and the man who invented the “Queenslander” war cry, Billy Moore.

Moore was confident Queensland could make it five in a row but was wary of the Blues forwards, considering Origin stalwarts Steve Price, Ben Hannant and Cameron Smith were all out of action for the Maroons.

“NSW have two home games this series and are in a situation where they have lost the past four series in a row,” Moore said.

“They are going to be very fired up.”

Moore said Queensland needed to go into the series without any complacency to secure five series wins in a row.



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