AAP Rugby

NSW won’t buy into clear favouritism

By AAP Newswire

For the first time in a long time, history is finally on NSW's side.

The Blues will enter Sunday night's second State of Origin as the shortest-priced favourites they've been since the TAB first offered markets in 1998.

And the good news is that every time they've been anywhere the $1.36 on offer, they've won.

Of the five times they've been priced at $1.50 or below, they've won. On four of those occasions, the win has been by at least 10.

The most recent of those was at the MCG earlier this month, where they set up their 1-0 series lead over the Maroons.

But the Blues aren't buying into the hype.

More than a decade of Origin misery is still in the back of their minds, even with the most relaxed and positive vibe around camp in years.

"I don't know about feels," five-eighth James Maloney - the most experienced member of their crucial spine - said.

"Sometimes it feels good and it doesn't go so good. Other times it doesn't feel good and it goes well.

"It's irrelevant ... I don't think it all correlates. We need to make sure everyone of us plays our best and we'll be right on Sunday."

Maloney has every reason to be scarred.

This is the third time in his four Origin series that the Blues have held a 1-0 lead with a game to play in Sydney.

Yet still he's empty-handed at Origin level.

In total, this is the sixth time in Queensland's run that NSW have won Game I but again they've only won one series in that time.

"We've been in this situation years before and I've been saying it for years. We can turn the tables," Maloney said.

"We owe it to NSW - they've stuck solid for a long time and we haven't got the result. I suppose as players the responsibility is on us.

"There's never been much in it. As players that experience tells you there is still a lot to do. There is some work left to do, it's not over.

"Hopefully we can prepare and understand that."