Here we are – with Origin II less than a week away – and the hunger within this NSW camp is tangible.
The air of determination is so thick you could tackle it.
Despite some horrendous weather, Blues fans have come out in force to watch the boys hit the training paddock – and with a first start win on the board, the players look relaxed and calm.
It won’t last long.
The mental preparation will now begin.
See, we talk of passion and pride and enthusiasm and confidence…but the sheer amount of tactical planning and strategic homework which goes on before one of these Origin games is phenomenal.
Of course I can’t go into to the meaty details, but there is plenty more to winning an Origin game than turning up with a Blue jersey on.
There are players we need to target, there are different set structures for different parts of the field and there are mountains of attacking plays and defensive formations to get right.
This is where Craig Bellamy comes into his own. The guy is a tactical guru…and he is working wonders with this young crop.
Never before have I seen a more switched on team of blokes. You tell them something once, and that’s it – they’ve got it.
It’s been said countless times, but Origin games can be won or lost by the â€˜one percentersâ€™. They often are.
The best teams in history have been comprised of players who would do that little bit extra. That would do something extraordinary which their position doesn’t necessarily require them to do.
This team is honestly jam-packed with those players.
Players which have the desire and hunger to make that extra tackle, and the skill to make it a good one.
I might be… slightly biased, but I can’t talk up this NSW team enough. The fever is building and the desire is there.
You can touch it. You can smell it.
You can lick it.
We’ll win Origin II, we’ll win the series… and that Origin trophy will be back where it belongs…here on Blue soil.