Having dismissed Paul Gallen’s claim that Queensland were “bad winners” Maroons coach Kevin Walters is intent on sending the retiring NSW skipper off as a sore loser.
On Monday Gallen said Queenslanders lacked humility during their run of 10 from 11 State of Origin series wins, pointing the finger at the public’s attitude – and a few players as well.
But Walters put the claims down to banter and said he’d be concentrating on delivering a rare cleansweep for Queensland in Corey Parker’s final match for the Maroons.
“NSW will want to send him (Gallen) off on a high note – Queensland have a different opinion on his send off,” Walters said.
“We have a guy riding off into the sunset too – Corey Parker.”
Walters did not believe Gallen had been disrespectful to Queensland but admitted the Maroons would still have the prop in their sights in game three.
“I think he has showed respect over his time towards Queensland players,” he said.
“We haven’t spoken about it (Gallen’s comments) too much.
“We are respectful of what Paul can bring.
“He is who we have to stop if we want to get across the line.”
Veteran lock Parker will play his 19th and final Origin on Wednesday night.
Walters hoped to send Parker off a winner but admitted he had no experience in sealing an Origin whitewash.
“I have never been involved in a 3-0 series – it is foreign territory for me,” said Walters, who played 20 Origins for Queensland.
“It will be a big ask for our guys.”
The last time Queensland won 3-0 was in 2010.
Walters has the chance to become just the third Origin coach in history to clinch a whitewash in his first year, joining NSW’s Ron Willey (1986) and Queensland’s Paul Vautin (1995).
“I have spoken to players who were involved in that (1995) series,” Walters said.
“About half (of the current side) have done the whitewash but saying it is different to doing it.
“It will be a brutal start looking at the NSW pack.
“They will be all systems go again in game three, we have to combat that.”
Prop Nate Myles – a veteran of 30 Origins – will return to the starting side from a knee injury.
But it wasn’t Queensland’s pack that Walters was worried about.
The rookie Maroons mentor hoped Queensland’s backline finally fired in game three.
Greg Inglis (17) and Darius Boyd (16) are Origin’s top two try scorers but have failed to cross the line this season in a worrying drought.
“I know we can get better,” Walters said of their attack.