Smith staying focused
QUEENSLAND captain Cameron Smith says talk about the Blues' resurgence hasn't affected his side's preparation for what he billed the biggest game since Origin's inception.
Fronting the media at Coolum yesterday, a relaxed Smith said the talk surrounding Ricky Stuart's side was warranted given its form, but the Maroons' preparation for tomorrow night's decider had been focused on the elements they could control.
"I think we spoke about last year's decider being the biggest game Origin has ever seen and this one is even probably bigger," Smith said.
"That's probably with the build-up from down south about the way New South Wales are playing - and they are playing really well, so they deserve all the talk they are getting out there.
"But for us, it's been quite low key up here. It's not so much about what's going on outside our training, it's just about our preparation and making sure we are getting that right."
Smith, who will play his 27th Origin at Suncorp Stadium, attributed the Blues' improved showing this series to a renewed self-belief. But he conceded his side had been its own worst enemy at times in Sydney.
The Queenslanders found themselves on the wrong end of a 13-4 error count in game two, and the inspirational No. 9 said the statistic just didn't wash at Origin level.
"I think our sessions this week have been probably the best out of the whole series," Smith said.
"We had to change a few things because we know that we didn't play to our capabilities in Sydney, so we've tinkered with a few things and training's been really good. We can walk off the field satisfied if we've gone out and done everything we can to win a match and got beaten by a better side.
"It will still be disappointing to get beaten, but you can't complain if you get beaten by a better side.
"In Sydney, the Blues were very good, but we just made too many errors and just didn't give ourselves an opportunity to win that match I didn't think."
After a much-improved performance in game two, the jury is still out on Todd Carney.
But if there was ever an arena to prove one's worth at this level, it is a decider in enemy territory.
"Toddy is a great player and he's in great form this year, but it's a different environment at Suncorp playing in front of 50,000 Queenslanders," Smith said.
"And if you apply a bit of pressure to those players then they can fall into bad habits.
"We've just got to make sure we are doing our job with the football first and when we get our opportunities in defence to put pressure on certain players we will do that."