Senior NSW players are adamant the team will have no demons to exorcise when they run onto Suncorp Stadium on Wednesday for their must-win State of Origin clash.
Almost a year since Laurie Daley’s slumped to a record-breaking 52-6 defeat, the Blues return to the venue on Tuesday for the first time as they finalise preparations for the Origin II encounter.
NSW have won just three of the past 12 games in Brisbane, although two of them were dead rubbers and the other was when Cooper Cronk went off with a broken arm early in the 2014 series opener.
But skipper Paul Gallen insists any issues that needed to be addressed were done before the series.
“There’s no demons at all. That was spoken about before game one,” Gallen told AAP.
“It’s just a game of footy, the dimensions are all the same. We’ll just have to execute better. That’s what it comes down to.”
Almost half of the team that will run out on Wednesday weren’t part of last year’s humiliation with rookies Matt Moylan, Josh Mansour, Adam Reynolds, Dylan Walker saved the indignity along with debutants Tyson Frizell and Jack Bird.
Blake Ferguson, Greg Bird, James Maloney and Andrew Fifita also missed the match.
“There’s at least eight or nine new players, if not more, from that game three last year. We won’t even talk about it,” Gallen said.
According to vice-captain Robbie Farah, any demons were buried in a catch-up over the summer.
“We met together and we reviewed last year’s series. That was dead and buried, that’s gone.
“It was important that we did that because you can’t just forget about what happened. You need to learn from it and make sure it doesn’t happen again.
“It was out of character for us as a group, but we pinpointed what went wrong and why it happened and how it should never happen again.”
Down one-nil in the series and with history against them, Farah urged the Blues’ young blood to embrace the challenge of being written off in front of the raucous Brisbane crowd.
“It can be daunting if you want to look at it that way, but I get excited. I love it,” he said.