Qld odd man out craves Origin series win

Long-serving captain Cameron Smith was gutted.

Veteran centre Justin Hodges couldn’t hide his devastation.

Evergreen half Johnathan Thurston appeared in shock.

There was no shortage of long faces in the Queensland dressing room when their record State of Origin streak ended.

But it was Aidan Guerra – just two games into his Origin career – who arguably had the heaviest of hearts.

The sweet taste of victory had been savoured for eight years by the all-conquering Maroons when Guerra arrived on the Origin scene last season.

Which made the 2014 series loss all the more devastating for the Sydney Roosters back-rower.

Guerra was the only member of Queensland’s team not to have celebrated a series win when their historic run came to an abrupt halt in game two last year.

Not that Guerra had to be reminded.

“To come in and be the only one who hasn’t won a series, it’s not the best,” he said of the game two fallout.

“We tasted a little bit of success in game three last year (32-8 win).

“It’s what we can do as a team that will get that trophy back.”

Queensland get their chance to atone when the series begins in Sydney on Wednesday night.

But for Guerra, it offers something arguably much more important – a chance to finally feel he belongs in maroon.

“It is definitely something I want to be a part of,” the three game Maroons forward said of a winning series.

“Anyone who plays wants to win.

“I want to be a part of it because the group here is pretty special.

“They have been together for a long time.”

Skipper Smith hoped to end Guerra’s suffering sooner rather than later.

“I don’t think it (revenge) is a small aspect, I think it’s a pretty big aspect,” he said.

“From a playing point of view we were really disappointed with our performances last year particularly in the first two games at least and overall the result was pretty empty.

“You put a lot of effort into the three matches and after two games you already know you’ve lost the series, I think it’s a pretty awful feeling.”

But Smith said they had taken confidence from their game three thrashing of a NSW side gunning for a series whitewash.

“It was a nice reminder to ourselves I think, more importantly, that in game three we went out and played extremely well and put a pretty handy score on the Blues,” he said.

“They were out to win that series 3-0.

“Clearly the best game of the series by far was game three and we just had a really good week together, we just played to our capabilities on that night so we need to do that as well.”

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