Thought Dylan Walker’s State of Origin debut was one to forget?
It might pale in comparison with what Queensland have planned for the besieged NSW centre in game two on Wednesday night in Brisbane.
Maroons skipper Cameron Smith believes Greg Inglis will revel in the absence of Blues nemesis Josh Morris and break the shackles by targeting Walker at Suncorp Stadium.
Walker had a horror debut in Origin I, coming off the bench with just nine minutes left and making a glaring error in Queensland’s 6-4 win in Sydney.
He had hoped to make amends in Brisbane after being gifted a starting berth when Morris broke down with a groin complaint.
Morris had been considered the best man to contain giant Queensland centre Inglis defensively.
Now Smith believes Inglis is poised to ensure more flak for the much-maligned Walker.
“I am sure when he (Inglis) gets the ball in his hands he will be asking some questions of Dylan Walker,” Smith said.
“Dylan Walker is playing his first game (at Suncorp Stadium) – he’s got his own challenges to face.”
Inglis had a quiet game one after a disappointing season start for NRL club South Sydney, where he started the year at fullback then switched to pivot.
But Smith believes Inglis will click for Queensland in the centres, where he has scored 11 of his Origin record 17 tries in 28 games.
He also has the most line breaks in Origin history (28) and needs one more tackle bust to overtake Mal Meninga’s record 128.
“We sent him out in the centres for a reason and that’s to cause a bit of trouble out there,” Smith said.
“Sometimes he (Inglis) tends to hang out there and wait for the ball.
“But if we give him the opportunity we will see some quality football.”
Smith believes Walker will not be the only player in sky blue feeling the heat in the pressure-cooker atmosphere of The Cauldron.
“It is a hostile environment no doubt for NSW,” he said.
“It will be a sea of maroon out there on Wednesday night.
“It’s an extremely tough place to play if you’ve played one or 10 games.
“No doubt those guys will be feeling the pressure.”