Maroons need to aim up for one player

There are so many ways for Queensland to improve in the Origin decider - but pretty much everything depends on the Maroons forwards putting in the grunt that will free up Ben Hunt at hooker. 

Hunt had a rugged time in Origin II in Perth as slow play-the-balls put pressure on his delivery from dummy half, all part of Queensland's lack of energy in the forwards.

Queensland have trained with extra intensity over the past week in the hope it will inject spark and urgency into their play, but you never truly know what lies in players' hearts until game day.

What is certain is that if Hunt cannot get more time and space, then it's curtains for the Maroons.

 

Ben Hunt needs to space to run the game for Queensland. Image: AAP Image/Glenn Hunt
Ben Hunt needs to space to run the game for Queensland. Image: AAP Image/Glenn Hunt

 

"We have to be nice and clear what our roles are and we have to get some quick play-the-balls for him,'' Maroons captain Daly Cherry-Evans said.

"That is probably a big part of our game - helping Ben Hunt get out of dummy half. We all have a role to play in that.

"Motivation will not be missing. Our intensity from the start to the end of the game just wasn't there (in Origin II). We have identified that. There are some technical things we have fixed up. We have trained with a bit more purpose this week.

 

DCE says Queensland have learned from Game Two. Image: Mark Kolbe/Getty Images
DCE says Queensland have learned from Game Two. Image: Mark Kolbe/Getty Images

 

"Rugby league has not changed for a long time. The age old thing if your forwards lay a platform it will help your backs has been a mainstay in rugby league.

"We learnt a big lesson in Game Two. Now is the time for us to respond to that.''

While known as a halfback in the NRL, Hunt's switch to hooker for Queensland has been applauded by former Maroons stars Kerrod Walters and Mark Murray.

Walters said he has sensed for some years that Hunt was more suited to hooker than halfback.