As good as the brutal State of Origin series opener was in Brisbane, Maroons skipper Cameron Smith reckons they are just getting warmed up.
Lungs bursting, Queensland captain Cameron Smith snuck a quick look at the scoreboard late in the State of Origin series opener in Brisbane.
Time was running out for his all conquering Maroons.
And NSW weren’t budging.
But all he could think was: “how good is this?”
It was billed as one of the greatest and most brutal Origin games ever played.
NSW’s uplifting 12-8 Origin I triumph at Suncorp Stadium proved a fitting showcase for game No.100.
But Smith reckons they were just getting warmed up.
While shattered by the result, Smith admitted he revelled in the Origin I contest.
“As a sportsman you can see it unfolding as a great match and I remember thinking with about five to go when we were taking on their line ‘this is one of the best matches I have ever been involved in’.
“Even though we felt the disappointment of defeat at the end, you knew you were involved in a great game.
“Let’s hope in game two it is the game but with a Queensland victory.”
However, Smith believes history shows game two will only be better.
“The first game is always a bit scrappy…usually in game two it is more of an open-style game,” he said.
“But both teams improve as the series goes on. That’s just natural.
“I just hope it is a great spectacle for the fans like game one.”
Replays of Origin I have been a delight for long-suffering NSW fans who are daring to dream of ending Queensland’s unprecedented eight-year dynasty.
However, Smith admits his Queensland team did not see much to complain about either.
“There are a lot of things that we did do well when we looked at game one,” he said.
“Statistically there wasn’t a whole lot that we did wrong.
“There were some small things where we were a little bit off our game.
“And the Blues were very good and able to hold us out in the final minutes.
“But we have practical things that we believe will help us in this game – things that we don’t want to give up just yet.”