All the pressure ahead of Wednesday’s State of Origin decider sits squarely on Queensland’s shoulders, NSW coach Laurie Daley has declared.
Two days out from Origin III in Brisbane, Daley moved to heap attention on the Maroons, claiming their vocal home crowd “expects them to win”.
With Daley still undecided as to the final make-up of his side, due to hooker Robbie Farah’s hand injury, he also suggested no one believed the Blues could repeat their series-winning feat of 2014.
“We are the team that travels up here, no one gives us a chance, we are the little battlers from NSW,” said Daley in his pre-match media conference.
“We will just do our best and if that is good enough to win so be it.
“I am proud of these guys, and everything they have done so far in the series and there is probably not a great deal of pressure on us because no one before the series expected us to win.
“Queensland are playing at home, it’s (Justin) Hodges’ last game, they are such a great side that people expect them to win, so for us it is just go out there have a bit of fun, toss the footy around and see what happens.”
Blues skipper Paul Gallen claimed before Origin II that the Maroons still believed they were the rightful Origin champions and it is a stance that is providing extra motivation for the visitors ahead of the series decider.
Despite Queensland’s unprecedented eight-year winning streak being broken by the Blues last year, Daley said Maroons fans expect nothing less than victory from every Origin encounter.
“They know people expect them to win,” Daley said.
“They are a team that has played so may big games, they are a team that every time they run out there in Queensland colours their Queensland crowd expect them to win.
“So for us it is about having no pressure on us, just going out there to win and enjoying the occasion and whatever happens, happens.”