EDS: Please note language in seventh par
By Laine Clark
GOLD COAST, Qld May 30 AAP – Not much fazed former Queensland hardman Trevor Gillmeister during his State of Origin days.
He famously risked his life and left his hospital bed to lead the Maroons to victory in a 2005 “dead rubber”.
Yet the man affectionately known as “The Axe” admits he is wary of the threat Blues enforcer David Klemmer poses ahead of Wednesday night’s series opener in Sydney.
Much has been made of NSW skipper Paul’s Gallen’s State of Origin swansong.
But Queensland assistant Gillmeister reckons the Blues forward that should be in the Maroons’ sights at ANZ Stadium is bench forward Klemmer.
Gillmeister believed Klemmer would be out to prove a point after standing up in game two last year, only to be knocked over in Queensland’s record 52-6 game three romp last year.
“There’s no doubt Klemmer lifted them in that second game last year and will be looking to make amends for that third game,” Gillmeister said.
Klemmer has already tried to rile the Maroons by dredging up his rivalry with veteran Queensland lock Corey Parker this week.
In just his second Origin, Klemmer lit the fuse when he told the veteran Maroon to “get f—ed” in game two at the MCG won by NSW 26-18.
He was slammed north of the border for being disrespectful but hailed south of the Tweed River for standing up to a Queensland great.
Klemmer did his best to reignite the feud this week when he claimed he had no regrets over the infamous sledge, saying respect was a two way street.
Gillmeister did not have to be told what was coming in Origin I.
“Defensively we are going to have to be very good, we have spoken about that,” the Maroons tackling expert said.
“Guys like Klemmer and (James) Tamou are big units and have a good offload in them.”
The man in Klemmer’s sights – Parker – did not seem fazed by the looming challenge.
“They (NSW) have a terrific pack. There’s no secret how they will come at us,” he said.
“Look at their bench. They are all six foot four and 115kg.
“How do you stop them? Do your best.”
NSW half James Maloney told Triple M Radio on Sunday that Gallen had jokingly told teammates to “do it for me” this series.
Either way Gallen will draw the curtain on his Origin career this series.
Parker didn’t believe it would be a factor, though.
“It all comes to an end at some stage for one of us,” he said.
“Gal sort of let it be known it will be his last.
“But Origin is too big to be about one person.”