It took stern words from coach Wayne Bennett to get it right, but halfback Daly Cherry-Evans has revealed the formula the Maroons spine is banking on to regain the State of Origin series shield.
Add Ben Hunt to the mix off the bench in cahoots with Cameron Munster in mercurial form, and the Maroons will have three playmakers on the field at various stages in Sydney as they did in Adelaide.
Throw in hooker Jake Friend and new fullback Valentine Holmes, and Cherry-Evans believes they will have a five-pronged attacking weapon all with their own distinct skill sets.
When Hunt came on the field in Adelaide in Queensland's 18-14 win, he didn’t play to any set formula or position on the field. He just played like Ben Hunt.
There were some tweaks that coach Wayne Bennett made to Cherry-Evans’s game. He played more direct in the second half, and it worked a treat with the Queensland skipper rewarded with man of the match honours.
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"I had a pretty good idea of what was happening in the first half and the things that weren't working for me. I certainly simplified it in the second half ... a couple of stern words from Wayne was probably behind that I reckon," Cherry-Evans said on Monday.
"It was just 'run the ball. Stop trying to throw it’. That's one thing I've been lucky with coming into this side, I don't have to be a certain role player.
"With the way we have our side with [Jake] Friend and Hunt and Cam [Munster] and myself, we just have to play our best football, whatever that looks like.
Match: Blues v Maroons
Game 2 -
Venue: ANZ Stadium, Sydney
"It's not really too structured, the more times we pass to each other, the more times we run the ball and we feel that gives us a better chance of winning."
Hunt’s impact has been immense in his recent games for Queensland, no matter where he has played.
Last year’s Ron McAuliffe Medal winner provided real spark in a bench role the Maroons have always valued.
"He’s a great player, Ben, and he had a massive impact on the first game," Cherry-Evans said.
"It’s just been something Queensland’s always done, to be fair. I was fortunate enough to come off the bench for my first stint on Origin.
"Over the years, there’s been numerous players … Cooper [Cronk] was obviously the best example of it and we’ve had Karmichael Hunt and Shaun Berrigan.
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"You just want players on the field who can turn a game and are confident in their ability.
"Certainly, Ben Hunt is a player like that. He can come on and change a game just off the back of his attacking ability and he’s tough in defence."
The Maroons will field a new spine at ANZ Stadium with Holmes at fullback in place of the injured AJ Brimson.
Holmes has scored eight tries in his five Origins, all on the wing.
"I am really confident with Val here. Val is a really special player and you only have to watch Origin of years gone by to see the impact he can have. He is just a renowned try scorer at Origin level," Cherry Evans said.
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"He might be in a different position but at the end of the day I think the mindset will still be the same for Val. He just needs to carry the ball, put himself in a position to help us get out of our backfield and score tries.
"We don’t have to complicate things. I know we have made a little change there but Val just needs to, like all of us, play to his strengths. If he does that then we will be an improved side again.
"We've got to be a lot better, to be fair. They [NSW] didn't play their best footy.
"They'll be a lot hungrier, they'll be an improved side. What we did in game one won't be enough to win game two or game three. We're aware of that."
Game two tickets start from $45 for members and $49 for general public or get your wig and experience the Blatchy’s effect from $85 for members or $90 for the general public