For the second time in less than a year, NSW captain Paul Gallen is going to be embarrassed when he appears at Suncorp Stadium in Wednesday’s State of Origin II.
But this time it’s for a very different reason.
While he trudged off the field after a record-breaking defeat in last year’s decider, Gallen will now equal Danny Buderus’ record 15 games as captain of the Blues on Wednesday night.
And, like the last time he was in Brisbane, he’s humbled by the feat.
“I only found out about that this morning and that’s quite humbling and a little bit embarrassing when you compare myself to a legend like Danny Buderus,” Gallen said.
“I think he won at least three series.”
The former Blues rake lifted the Origin shield on two occasions, in 2004-05, before calling it quits in the middle of the Maroons’ dynasty after the 2008 series.
Gallen will go on to set the record in game three in a match he hopes won’t be a dead rubber.
To do that, the Blues will have to overcome a horrible run in enemy territory, as well as an attacking deficiency that has forced the Blues to spend a large porting of their preparation honing their ball use.
NSW have averaged just under 11 points under coach Laurie Daley, while they have won just one game since 2006 when the series was alive.
The 34-year-old Gallen said their mindset was simple.
“You’ve got to score more points than the opposition,” he said.
“We executed it fairly well game one and as we saw, we created opportunities but we just didn’t finish them off. We had a couple of knock down passes, disallowed tries, and some other ones that went begging.
“We need to fix that up. You don’t get that many opportunities at this level and when them opportunities arise, you need to take them and if we can take them in this game, then we can score more points.”
Gallen declared himself a certain starter after missing their first two sessions due to an ankle issue.
Most of the Blues watched the completion of the NBA finals on a day off on Monday and will finalise Origin preparations in Tuesday’s captain’s run.
“It’ll be a pretty short and intense session tomorrow. We’ll really start to focus then and absolutely nail our role,” Gallen said.