Winning 10 State of Origin series in 11 years should be satisfying.
But captain Cameron Smith reckons the prospect of a rare series whitewash has Queensland hungrier than ever for yet another win in next week’s Origin III in Sydney.
In Origin’s 36-year history, Queensland have pulled off a clean sweep only four times – in 1988-89, 1995 and 2010.
Smith said one of the first things he did in this week’s Maroons camp was discuss the opportunity that presented itself in Wednesday week’s dead rubber.
“My message was we don’t want to lose focus on the chance that we’ve got this game,” Smith said ahead of his record 39th Origin.
“There is a going to be a lot of talk about a dead rubber but for us it means a lot.
“Only four Queensland teams have enjoyed a whitewash in more than 30 years of Origin so it is pretty rare.
“We’ve created a chance to do something special – we don’t want to jeopardise that.”
Smith was still ruing a missed chance to have increased Queensland’s “Maroon-wash” tally in 2009.
That year the Maroons were overwhelming favourites to sweep the series, taking a 2-0 lead to their homeground Suncorp Stadium.
It would be fair to say it did not go to plan.
NSW won 28-16 in a spiteful clash with Trent Waterhouse becoming the first Blue to be sent off in Origin history after blindsiding Queensland prop Steve Price in ugly scenes.
“We had the opportunity the year before in 2009 but we let it slip and we wanted to make amends for that,” Smith said.
“We were lucky enough to achieve it (in 2010) and it would be nice to experience it again.”
Not that Smith was taking anything for granted ahead of game three – especially with NSW keen for a fitting sendoff to retiring captain Paul Gallen.
“Being their captain Paul Gallen’s last game they will be in for a big one,” he said.
“We are under no illusions on the way they are going to play.
“They will want to restore a fair bit of pride back into their jersey and state.
“I have been on the end of 2-0 before, it’s not a good feeling.
“They will be doing everything they can to win.”