Underdog status will suit the Maroons. Image: Adam Head
Underdog status will suit the Maroons. Image: Adam Head

Queensland pride at stake for Walters

NOT in recent memory have Queensland suffered such a chastening loss as in game two in Perth. Whatever the result in the series decider on Wednesday night, Kevin Walters won't let his Maroons go down without a fight.

The 51-year-old former Queensland great is staring down the barrel of a consecutive Origin series defeat after four years as Maroons coach.

However, he was confident of being able to clinch the series on enemy territory, just over a fortnight since their emphatic loss to NSW in game two.

The humiliating 38-6 defeat has been motivation for the playing squad as they look to make amends in the do-or-die clash.

Walters said the Maroons' No.1 goal was to produce a performance the entire state would be proud of.

"For Queensland, it is about making every Queenslander proud again," Walters said.

"That's the objective of the 17.

Kevin Walters knows all of Queensland will be with him. Image: Adam Head
Kevin Walters knows all of Queensland will be with him. Image: Adam Head

"We need to start the game well and stay in the game for 80 minutes and that will be the key for us.

"They're hurting from what happened in game two and the only way to get rid of that hurt is for them to give a performance that they're capable of on Wednesday night."

Walters' coaching career remains under a cloud, forcing Queensland Rugby League hierarchy to prepare a potential SOS to former coach Wayne Bennett.

When asked whether he felt any pressure ahead of tonight's game, Walters said he was looking forward to the challenge of bringing the Origin shield back to Queensland for the 12th time in 14 years.

"There's always pressure on players and coaches, that's what we're here for," he said. "I can't wait for it for the pressures and the challenges that it provides.

"It's going to be a great night of rugby league."

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