Winning may be the goal, but ideally Queensland want to make NSW “crack” in State of Origin II, Cooper Cronk has warned.
Cronk said all the plans and tactics NSW cook up in camp this week will matter little when the teams run out at Suncorp Stadium on Wednesday night.
The Maroons halfback said if Queensland seal their 10th series win in 11 years next week it will come down to something that can’t be drawn up on a clipboard – moments.
Specifically, the moment the Maroons break the Blues.
“We can sit here and talk about players, tactics, trying to isolate this defender – whatever,” Cronk said.
“Sometimes football is very basic.
“It’s about effort and toughness and going in there and making the opposition crack.
“Origin is the best 34 players in the world going hammer and tongs and it is about moments and efforts.
“That’s what this game will come down to, no doubt.”
Cronk said Queensland would also rely on another factor that does not feature on a stat sheet – the Maroons’ legendary never-say-die attitude.
“It’s in our DNA,” he said.
“It started with Arthur Beetson in 1980, fed through to Wally Lewis, Allan Langer, Kevvie Walters and Mal Meninga.
“It’s that expectation when you pull on that jersey, you are not meant to let your mate down, simple as that.
“I think this group has been good carrying on that baton.”
NSW will be desperate to keep the series alive and try to send skipper Paul Gallen out a winner in his Origin swansong.
But Cronk said emotion may work against the Blues.
“It’s a fine balance,” he said.
“I have been in a side where emotion has helped me and other sides where it has hindered me and made me clam up a bit.
“But playing Origin is enough inspiration for me to go out and help my teammates.”
Queensland may be in the box seat with a 1-0 lead before heading to their Suncorp Stadium fortress, but Cronk said there would be no complacency.
“The series may be on the line for NSW, but it is also for us,” he said.
“We are not going in thinking we have an option in game three.
“We want to put in our best performance for our home crowd.”