They may have played their beloved loyalty card again but Queensland claim they will shelve another favourite tactic ahead of State of Origin game two – underdog status.
Even Maroons mentor Kevin Walters admits they can’t play down their Origin II favouritism at their Suncorp Stadium fortress after making just one injury enforced change to the 17 that claimed the series opener 6-4.
Maroons selectors ignored the claims of untested forward Gavin Cooper and named Origin I 18th man Jacob Lillyman to replace injured prop Nate Myles (knee) for game two on June 22.
“We picked someone who had served the jersey well in the past,” Walters said of Lillyman, who has played 11 Origins.
But Walters admitted they wouldn’t be up to their old tricks when it came to dodging favouritism.
Queensland have won nine of the last 12 Origins at Suncorp Stadium.
Two of those three losses were dead rubbers.
The other in 2014 was when Maroons halfback Cooper Cronk came off with a broken arm in the opening minutes.
And the last time they played at Suncorp Stadium Queensland romped to a record 52-6 win.
“No one is expecting them (NSW) to win, that’s for sure,” Walters said.
“I think most people would have Queensland as favourites and that is the danger sign for us.
“I don’t think they (NSW) have too much to lose coming up here.
“We have to be really on top of our game.”
Just as Walters rammed home their poor Sydney record to his team before game one, the Queensland coach said he would remind the Maroons they could be beaten at home.
“It is not just a matter of showing up at Suncorp Stadium, because we got beaten there in 2014 – I want to make the players aware of that,” he said.
“But I know they love playing in front of their home crowd – it’s the best stadium in the world.
“It does bring the best out of the players but we need to get better, the players are aware of that.”
Walters did not believe they would have a psychological advantage over NSW despite notching a record win the last time they met in Brisbane.
“It didn’t have any effect in Sydney (game one) – it was a totally different NSW team,” he said.
“They won’t have any concerns coming up here.
“They have nothing to lose. We have everything to lose.
“We need to get them ready to give the performance of their lives.”