Walker in Qld’s sights: Smith

Queensland captain Cameron Smith says the Maroons have maligned NSW centre Dylan Walker in their sights ahead of Wednesday’s State of Origin II in Brisbane.

Having been given just nine minutes by coach Laurie Daley in a controversial Origin debut in game one, Walker has been thrust into the starting line-up at centre after Josh Morris (groin) withdrew.

Morris had been considered the best man to contain giant Queensland centre Greg Inglis defensively.

Smith said Inglis would aim to keep Walker honest in the NSW centre’s first Origin at Suncorp Stadium.

“There’s no doubt, we will be asking some questions out there,” Smith said.

“I am sure when he (Inglis) gets the ball in his hands he will be asking some questions of Dylan Walker.”

Smith believed Walker wouldn’t be the only player in sky blue feeling the heat in the pressure cooker atmosphere of “The Cauldron”.

“At the end of the day, it is a hostile environment no doubt for NSW,” he said of Suncorp Stadium.

“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.”

Smith said complacency would not be a problem for Queensland as they look to seal a 10th series win in 11 years.

He said Queensland had learnt their lesson from last year’s game two loss to NSW in Melbourne.

“If we don’t take this opportunity it is 1-1 and we have to go back down to Sydney to win which is a very hard thing to do,” he said.

“There are no concerns at the moment about our mindset.”

Meanwhile, Smith gave the Maroons a clean bill of health ahead of Origin II.

Halfback Cooper Cronk was the last player to battle a stomach bug that went through their Gold Coast camp, coming in and out of their main session on Sunday.

“There was a bit of a ‘flu that went through the camp but everyone is healthy now,” he said.

Smith said he was one of the few to have avoided the illness.

“They are now calling me iron guts,” he said.

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