Secret is to get down and dirty
QUEENSLAND supporters probably believe their beloved Maroons have won six straight Origin series on the back of some magic from Greg Inglis, a wonder try from Billy Slater or a brilliant pass from Johnathan Thurston.
But if you listen to captain Cameron Smith it is the Queenslanders' willingness to get down and dirty which has been the difference between winning and losing during that great run.
"It's the small, little things that people don't see which win you games," Smith said. "It's not the big plays that win Origin, it's loose balls that get dived on, support around the football.
"They're the small things that build up to a win."
It is this willingness from his teammates to produce those much-talked about "one per cent" plays that allow a genius like Thurston to work his magic.
"There were a lot of great players in our team in Melbourne," Smith said. "I thought Brent Tate was outstanding - he got our players' player.
"Nate Myles played well, Ash Harrison was great.
"Then JT came up with the big plays when we needed them."
Smith has the difficult task of filling the giant boots of Maroons legend Darren Lockyer and is looking to avoid the unwanted tag of becoming the first Queensland captain since Lockyer to lose an Origin series.
But he is not feeling pressure because of that ahead of Origin II tomorrow at ANZ Stadium.
"For me, it's just about making sure we train hard during the week and come game time, tossing a coin and running out first," Smith said. "That's pretty much it."
As great as Lockyer was, Smith, and more importantly his teammates, know he does not have to change too much in the post-Lockyer era.
"For me, I don't think about having to step in and fill Locky's shoes because I don't want to be like Darren Lockyer," he said. "I'm a different player, I'm a different leader.
"So I just try and do my own thing and hopefully that's what I did in Game I as well."
Smith knows about all the talk placing him under the spotlight to continue the great work Lockyer did.
But this does not bother him.
"I don't really think about that at all," he said. "I know the headlines going around that there's a lot of pressure on me given what Locky did, but I don't feel the pressure.
"I've got a good team and I know that if we play well then we're a chance of winning again."