Paul Gallen has set the scene for an explosive State of Origin II, after labelling Queensland “disrespectful” and “grubby” in his final press conference before Wednesday’s MCG showpiece.
In one of the most entertaining and pointed media conferences of the season, the Blues skipper claimed on Tuesday the Maroons were showing NSW no respect carrying an injured Billy Slater into game two.
Gallen also spoke again of what he labelled the Maroons’ “grubby” tactics in their win in Origin I last month and said the Blues had a firm plan to combat anything Queensland threw their way in game two.
“We have been used to their grubby tactics for years now, in game one I suppose the boys were a bit naive to think that some of the so-called angels of the game don’t get up to any of it,” Gallen said.
“I’m sure that none of the boys will take a backward step this time, they know what is coming and I’m sure Queensland do as well.
“We are not out there to fight, we are not out there to play dirty, we are out there to play hard and tough but we won’t be taking any a backward step and if those tactics start to sneak into the game I’m sure our boys will adapt to that.”
Gallen again identified Nate Myles as the Maroons’ chief niggler in the Blues’ eyes, and said Slater putting “his shoulder into” Josh Morris as he lay on the ground in game one, was among several incidents that upset NSW.
The Blues are also incensed by news Slater is set for season-ending surgery on his shoulder, the day after Origin II.
“If he is planning on having surgery on Thursday, I think that is a sign of where their team is at the moment,” Gallen said.
“They think they are that much better than us, they think they are going to get this win and it is going to be the end of the series and Billy is going to get surgery and have the rest of the year off.
“It is a little bit disrespectful to us, but it is easy to be talking about it and having a go at him. We have to go out there and get the win tomorrow night and prove that we are the better side.”