Much is made of Queensland’s lousy State of Origin record in Sydney.
But captain Cameron Smith reckons the Blues should be more concerned with another Maroons record – last year’s 52-6 demolition of NSW in Brisbane.
Smith says the stunning eight tries to one Origin III victory last year should remind NSW what the veteran Maroons are still capable of going into the 2016 series at Sydney’s ANZ Stadium on Wednesday night.
Queensland are sweating on Cooper Cronk, with the veteran halfback expected to be given until the last moment to overcome an ankle injury.
It’s been a distraction to a Maroons side boasting seven players on the wrong side of age 30 hoping to improve its recent Sydney record of just two wins in six games.
But Smith said Queensland were backing themselves to produce another powerhouse display and shatter their Sydney hoodoo – with or without Cronk.
“We played really well in that game (52-6) when a lot of people doubted our ability to put in those types of performances,” Smith said.
“It was a bit of a reminder to everyone how good a side we are and what we are capable of doing.
“There’s a bit of confidence in the group after our performance in game three. That performance will help us on Wednesday night.
“We need to turn up and at least try and play the same way.”
The record win sealed Queensland’s ninth series triumph in 10 years.
Smith had no doubt NSW would still be hurting from that humiliation.
“They had a record score put on them,” he said. “They will be thinking about that a fair bit.”
Despite their recent Sydney record, Smith didn’t feel Queensland had been travelling too badly away from home.
“We won game one down there (in Sydney last year) which has not been forgotten (by us) and we didn’t play that well,” Smith said of the 11-10 win sealed by a Cronk field goal.
“It’s a tough place to start your series.
“It’s probably not the best football played in game one, it’s greasy, it’s always a bit scrappy.
“But we have made a goal of ours to start the series well.”
Smith also had a chuckle over NSW claiming Queensland were playing mind games over Cronk’s ankle injury.
“I haven’t seen him for three days,” Smith said.
“That shows how particular he has been with his rehab.
“There’s been a bit said …about us playing mind games – there’s no mind games at all.”
Queensland flew into Sydney on Monday with Cronk a chance of testing his ankle in Tuesday’s captain’s run at ANZ Stadium.
Smith had confidence in Michael Morgan stepping up if needed in Cronk’s absence after shining at the Maroons’ week-long camp.
“Our preparation has been spot on (without Cronk),” he said.