The Queensland Origin crew aren’t worried about the Telstra Stadium curse and Queensland want to clinch their first Origin clean sweep since 1995.
The QLD Maroons don’t have to be reminded that they have never won at the Telstra Stadium venue since Origin matches were switched there from Aussie Stadium / SFS in 1999.
That’s an very poor record of no wins, one draw and 10 losses.
However, Queensland Origin tough guy Neville Costigan has revealed that in the sheds moments after their Origin I victory senior players not only discussed a Telstra Stadium win but then also touched on a first series whitewash in 12 years.
“Winning this first game there was a bit of talk around how it would be awesome to get the 3-0 result – Queensland hasn’t done it (clean sweep) for a while,” Costigan said.
“I have already spoken to a few of the young guys like (forward) Jacob Lillyman during the week and they are all fired up for it.
“We are as fired up as we were in the first one.”
Queensland last swept NSW in a best-of-three series in 1995 when a team devoid of Super League-affiliated players shocked a star-studded Blues outfit.
The Maroons have won a series 3-0 three times.
But to do that again, they first must accomplish a task that is as daunting as what faced Paul Vautin’s “no name” 1995 team – getting the Telstra Stadium monkey off their backs.
The last time Queensland won at Sydney was in game three in 1998, 19-4.
The Maroons won that series 2-1 by claiming both matches at Sydney’s SFS.
Indeed, Queensland enjoyed an 11-9 overall record in Sydney and won three straight games at the SFS before the NSW venue was switched to the Olympic stadium and the jinx kicked in.
But if their Telstra Stadium record was playing on Queensland’s minds, Maroons coach Mal Meninga wasn’t giving anything away on Wednesday.
“It’s a challenge … it’s something we may talk about but in the end it’s about us,” he said.
“For a change and for a long while, we’re actually going into game two 1-0 up and not 1-0 down.
“We’ve got ourselves in a good situation and it’s going to come down to our preparation and what happens on the night.
“We’re not going to put too much emphasis on going down there and breaking a hoodoo.
“We’re going to put the emphasis on us doing really well, individually and as a team.”
Queensland chairman of selectors Des Morris on Tuesday hinted that it was perhaps the “slippery” surface at Telstra Stadium that was behind their hoodoo.
But Queensland skipper Darren Lockyer was having nothing of it.
“It’s not the surface. We just haven’t performed as well as we would have liked on the night, particularly our starts,” he said.
“They have lacked that intensity. From my point of view it’s something that I would like the team to do well.
“But our preparation has got to be spot on and it’s about what we do when we cross the line on the night too.
“We can use it (hoodoo) as a motivational tool this week but at the same time we don’t want to use it as something that can psyche us out.”
Meninga will take the Queensland camp into enemy territory in the lead-up to next Wednesday’s Origin II, settling into Terrigal on Friday before moving to Sydney on Tuesday.