Brad Fittler's 'brutal' act at NSW training ahead of State of Origin II

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·Sports Reporter
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Brad Fittler reportedly put the Blues through a gruelling Friday training session ahead of State of Origin II on Sunday. (Photo by Matt King/Getty Images)
Brad Fittler reportedly put the Blues through a gruelling Friday training session ahead of State of Origin II on Sunday. (Photo by Matt King/Getty Images)

Journalists have described a 'brutal' NSW training session ahead of State of Origin II on Sunday, with players reportedly not holding anything back in a bruising practice match.

The Blues were outmuscled by Queensland in Game I, with coach Brad Fittler seemingly keen to impress upon his charges the necessity of physicality in Sunday's second game.

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The 'full-on' practice left reporters stunned, with SEN's Michelle Bishop saying visiting press were taken aback by the intensity.

Queensland's 16-10 victory in Sydney earlier this month has left Fittler needing to overcome an unwanted record stretching back to 1994 if the Blues are to win the series.

Only once in State of Origin history have NSW lost a series opener on home soil and come back to win the series.

Based on Bishop's report, Fittler has demanded more rough and tumble in Game II.

“They were just too nice (in Game I) and nice doesn’t belong in the Origin arena,” Bishop said..

“Their session yesterday was out of this world. It was brutal.

“Some of the journalists walked away wondering what they had just witnessed.

“It was so competitive and it certainly didn’t feel like a training session.

“I’m surprised no one was injured. It was full-on.”

Fittler has won three of the four series he has taken charge of, but a win over Queensland at Perth's Optus Stadium on Sunday and victory in Brisbane would shape as one of his greatest Origin achievements.

"It's very hard to do and it's a hard challenge for this group of men, but I've got no doubt they are up to it," said former NSW forward Paul Sironen, a member of Fittler's staff.

"We didn't play well enough in Game I and every player will tell you that. We need to win this game to keep the series alive heading up to Lang Park.

"Our record up there - barring last year - hasn't been fantastic."

If NSW do square the series, Queensland will host the final game knowing that they have won eight of the last nine deciders.

The Blues' sole victory in that time came in 2019.

Blues drop the 'nice guy' act in Origin game two

NSW prop Junior Paulo has warned Queensland the Blues are no longer prepared to play the role of 'Mr Nice Guy' as they aim to square the series.

The words of Blues assistant coach Greg Alexander hit home for Paulo when NSW were described as being "too nice" in the 16-10 loss to Queensland in this year's series opener in Sydney.

The Blues weren't willing to test the patience of referee Ashley Klein, who will also officiate Game II, by lying over Queensland at the ruck.

But after a stern reminder, Paulo said the Blues were under no illusion as to what they needed to do at Optus Stadium.

Junior Paulo says the Blues were too nice in their game one loss, vowing to show more toughness and agression in Perth. (Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images)
Junior Paulo says the Blues were too nice in their game one loss, vowing to show more toughness and agression in Perth. (Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images)

"Brandy's right, we came into camp and reviewed that first game and it's definitely around the ruck where we can improve," Paulo said.

"We gave Queensland a lot of opportunities to attack and we've got to find ways to slow them down.

"You always do (take criticism personally) and want to use it as motivation heading into a game.

"His words were right and you want to own your job in the middle."

Queensland were so dominant in Game I that only one Blues forward - Payne Haas - clocked up more than 100 metres with the ball in hand.

With AAP

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