Queensland coach Mal Meninga will speak with referees boss Tony Archer to try to increase ruck speed in Origin III and help them break the ‘blue wall’.
Plenty of attacking weapons may be at his disposal but Queensland coach Mal Meninga has asked for a little help from the referees in order to finally storm NSW’s “blue wall” in State of Origin game three.
Meninga implored the whistleblowers – including rookie Gerard Sutton – to police the defensive 10m better and ensure more ruck speed so Queensland’s arsenal can finally fire against what he rated one of Origin’s greatest defences.
The Maroons had their record eight series run snapped this year by the Blues after being restricted to just two tries in 160 minutes of football.
And Greg Inglis – who has an Origin record 15 tries – has not crossed for a four-pointer in 265 minutes for Queensland.
Meninga – a member of the inaugural 1980 Maroons side – rated NSW’s defence as some of the best he had seen in Origin.
“Statistically it tells you that and the scoreline says it,” Meninga said.
“They have made some fantastic decisions under pressure defensively and come up with the right plays.
“Their defence, that blue wall, has been fantastic.
“We are going to have to try and break that blue wall down.”
Meninga hoped Queensland would be allowed to chance their arm in attack in order to avoid their first whitewash in 14 years.
“But that’s up to the ruck speed allowed (on Wednesday night),” he said.
“I am kind of hoping we can show our fans how we play footy and I am pretty sure with the pressure off NSW will want to throw the ball around as well.”
Meninga rated breaking their defensive shackles higher than notching a win and avoiding a 3-0 drubbing.
“We want to go out there tomorrow night and give it our all,” he said.
“We haven’t played that well with the footy but I would suggest they (NSW) think they have not played that well with the footy.
“We want to see a lot more attacking game.
“And we can only do that if the ruck is sped up.”
And it seems Meninga will deliver the message personally after organising a meeting with NRL referees boss Tony Archer on Wednesday.
Meninga was keen for a chat after venting his spleen over NSW coach Laurie Daley speaking with Archer ahead of game two without his knowledge.
Asked what his advice would be to Origin debutant Sutton and fellow whistleblower Ben Cummins, Meninga said: “Just ref it like an NRL game”.