NSW star Aaron Woods reckons Blues fans are kidding themselves if they don’t pack out ANZ Stadium for skipper Paul Gallen’s farewell in State of Origin III.
With the series dead and buried following Wednesday night’s 26-16 loss at Suncorp Stadium, attention has turned to Gallen’s final appearance in the NSW jumper before retiring at the end of the series.
However, questions surround just what kind of crowd the battling Blues will pull after slumping to their tenth series loss in 11 campaigns against their interstate rivals.
Particularly if Daley backs up his promise to keep the majority of his squad from game two, minus injured halfback Adam Reynolds.
Woods urged NSW supporters to get out and support the long-serving Gallen in his 16th game as captain, breaking Danny Buderus’ record as the most-capped Blues’ skipper in Origin.
“We’ve had a few bad years but we’re still going to be trying our arses off,” Woods said.
“It’s Gal’s last game for NSW. If that’s not enough ammunition to come out, then you’re kidding yourselves. We want to stop it from a whitewash. We’re going back to Sydney and we can’t let it be 3-0.”
As for how exactly the Blues will avoid the indignity of a clean sweep, Woods has no idea.
The 25-year-old, who is most likely to take over from Gallen for the next series, conceded Queensland’s core spine of Johnathan Thurston, Cooper Cronk and Cameron Smith simply didn’t know how to lose.
“It’s been the story for the last few years,” he said.
“I don’t know what we’re doing – we’re training really good. We just can’t get that finishing touch.
“It’s letting us down every time we play. In Sydney, got beat 6-4 – we had that many opportunities and we couldn’t put the nail in the coffin, whereas Queensland do it every game.
“They’re just a champion side.”