Queensland captain Cameron Smith says they must tinker with their winning preparation if they are to solve a rare complaint – poor starts.
If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it – unless you are reigning eight-time State of Origin champions Queensland.
Maroons coach Mal Meninga may be forgiven for thinking he has the Midas touch after not losing a series since taking over the reins in 2006.
But Queensland captain Cameron Smith admitted they would need to tinker with their winning preparation to solve a rare complaint during their stellar interstate run – poor starts.
Smith believed they had been too slow out of the blocks throughout their reign – a nasty habit most notable in 2013’s series opener.
NSW jumped to a 14-0 halftime lead and won Origin I by eight points before a shell-shocked Queensland once again regrouped.
“I think we need to sit down and address that because it has been an issue for us in the past,” Smith said.
“Throughout the whole eight series we notoriously haven’t started that well where the Blues have.
“I think we need to have a chat about our preparation and the way we need to change training, do small things differently to make sure we are ready to go when the first whistle is blown.”
Smith believed a change in location for their Origin camp – from Sunshine Coast’s Palmer Coolum Resort to Gold Coast’s Sanctuary Cove – this year would also help.
“It’s nice to have a change. Mal and his staff have done a good job at that over the years, to not keep us at the same spot for too long,” he said.
“We will be well looked after so we will have no excuses about not being able to prepare properly physically.
“It’s about getting our attitude right so we are starting the game well.”
NSW must shudder to think what Queensland can achieve if they are not ambushed in each series opener.
But Smith said Queensland were not getting ahead of themselves.
“We don’t come into camp thinking ‘we are going to make it nine in a row’,” he said.
“It’s a new challenge again. Whoever NSW picks will be strong.”
Meninga agreed, saying complacency would not be an issue for his all conquering Maroons.
“I think we have been doing it long enough to not get complacent,” he said.
“We have a real fair of failure as well.
“We have certain expectations of the way we want to play and we want to uphold all of that.”