James Maloney is confident the Blues have plenty of points them. Picture. Phil Hillyard
James Maloney is confident the Blues have plenty of points them. Picture. Phil Hillyard

Maloney reveals Blues rookie who will make or break game plan

QUEENSLAND players better be perfect at the play-the-ball.

That's the warning from James Maloney, who revealed the Blues are aiming to expose any sluggishness or early movement from Maroons defenders at marker.

NSW boasts some of the game's slickest backs in James Roberts, Josh Addo-Carr, James Tedesco and Latrell Mitchell, so it should come as no surprise that Maloney and Nathan Cleary plan on spreading the ball to them early and often.

This, of course, will be made easier if the Maroons markers are not jumping out of the ruck to put pressure on the halves.

But as Maloney explains, the markers have to get the balance right, because if they go too soon there's a livewire No.9 ready to wreak havoc.

"The advantage we've got with Damien Cook at hooker is that they (Queensland) can't get too loose or 'Cooky' will just run, and he's so dynamic out of there," he said.

On the other hand, if they concentrate too hard on shutting down the attacking threat of the Rabbitohs dummy-half, there'll be plenty of time and space for the Blues' flashy outside men.

"I suppose if they get too tight then we can look to move the ball," he said.

Damien Cook is central to the attacking blueprint for NSW.
Damien Cook is central to the attacking blueprint for NSW.

"It's Origin, there are times you've got to roll the sleeves up and take your medicine and get it out of your own end. But yeah when we can, we'd like to find those blokes in a bit of space."

Maloney, who's played in three Origin series, says Brad Fittler and the coaching staff have made "little tweaks", but the attacking mentality remains.

"I think the last couple of years NSW has tried to attack as much as possible," he offered.

"You can't wait in Origin for set starts and penalties because they just don't come.

"So, I think you've always got to be looking for opportunities because they don't come that often and they're such tight games."



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