FORMER fiery forward Steve “Blocker” Roach has urged New South Wales’ giant forwards to use their physicality and aggression to batter Queensland into submission in tonight’s State of Origin clash at Suncorp Stadium.
“I want to see players splattered in blood, some of their and some of ours,” the enforcer in 17 Origins through the 1980s told Australian Regional Media.
“It’s winner takes all, we have to win, so that means putting our bodies on the line tonight and doing whatever it takes to win.
“It hurts not winning. It has to be hurting the players enough now that they will go out tonight and do anything to win.”
Blues coach Laurie Daley said his collection of forwards were “pretty powerful” when needed.
“We need a huge effort from them tonight. This is a very talented squad and who knows what they are capable of,” Daley said.
Renowned for his love of a “stink” to unsettle rivals, Roach understands players can no longer resort to such tactics but insists if the Blues hope to keep their series alive they’ll have to spill blood, and he doesn’t care whose blood it is.
Queensland is expecting a Blues onslaught in the opening 15-20 minutes not unlike what they produced in the corresponding game in Melbourne last year, when they won game two 26-18.
“Our forwards got under their skin a bit in that game and we need to employ those tactics again,” snarled Roach.
“If you’re big, you have to play big.”
Roach said every player who took the field tonight knew they were going to get bashed because that’s the way Origin is played.
“You have to retaliate first, that was always the rule when I played,” he said.
The former Balmain great said NSW had enormous admiration and respect for Queensland and the way they played.
“It’s always been a fine respect but just because you respect someone doesn’t mean yo can’t go out and give your best.”
Roach said he would be happy if NSW walked off Suncorp Stadium with a one-point win.
He said the side had a lot of new players, with only seven survivors from the 52-6 loss at Suncorp Stadium last year, but they had a chance to do something special.
Queensland doesn’t want to let NSW take the series back to Sydney for a decider, which would be a tough ask.
Maroons coach Kevin Walters has introduced some new plays for a faster Brisbane surface and has handed young prop Josh McGuire a starting role, which will be a real baptism of fire given the Blues will want to take control early.
Queensland captain Cameron Smith was disappointed that that ball did not find its way out to Greg Inglis enough in Sydney and admits GI needs to get the ball in his hands more.
Daley said he would be “disappointed” if Queensland and in particular GI did not target inexperienced 21-year-old centre Dylan Walker, who faces a massive task against Origin’s all-time leading try-scorer with only nine minutes of Origin exposure in Sydney.
“That is their go-to side but Dylan is a kid with plenty of speed and footwork of his own, I wouldn’t be underestimating him,” he said.
Daley said he wasn’t feeling any pressure ahead of game two, with his job possibly on the line.
“If I lose a game of football it is not the worst thing that is going to happen,” he said.
But as former Liverpool football manager Bill Shankly once famously said: “Some people think football is a matter of life and death. I can assure you, it’s much more serious than that.”
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