Cameron Smith levels stunning claim at NSW after State of Origin drama around Billy Slater

Smith has turned the spotlight firmly back on the Blues.

Former Queensland skipper Cameron Smith says NSW has "no answers on the footy field" so has resorted to baiting Maroons coach Billy Slater in a desperate bid to keep the State of Origin series alive. Smith was not surprised to see Slater targeted and his judiciary record as a player dragged up in response to NSW coach Michael Maguire's veiled "glass houses" comments over the Reece Walsh high shot in Game 1.

Responding to Slater's claim that the Walsh incident, which led to Joseph Suaalii's eighth-minute send off, was "sickening and not good for our game", Maguire shot back: "Glass houses. It's an interesting one." Asked if he was referring to Slater's long list of judiciary charges as a player, Maguire replied: "I'll let you work that one out."

Pictured left to right is Cameron Smith, Michael Maguire and Maroons State of Origin coach Billy Slater.
Cameron Smith has taken aim at Michael Maguire and the Blues over recent comments thought to be aimed at Maroons State of Origin coach Billy Slater. Pic: Getty

Smith, who played a record 42 Origin games for Queensland, said the focus on his former teammate was predictable and showed how desperate the Blues were to stay in the series after losing game one in Sydney. Speaking on Radio SEN, he said: "I came across the (Daily Telegraph) paper in Sydney and it's got a double page spread of Billy and some of the things that happened when he was a player.

"I'll tell you what's happening - they're just trying to get under his skin. That's all it is. I've seen this plenty of times throughout my footy career, whether it be directed at a coach or at a player.

"All they're trying to do down south, right, is unsettle Billy. They're trying to take his focus away from his role as coach and preparing this Queensland side as best he can during the week so that gives them a fighting chance in this series.

"The reason for that is because they're under the pump. They lost their first game at home in front of their home fans. Their home fans walked out of the stadium at halftime, so they're under the pump big time."

Seen here, NSW Blues players in State of Origin Game 1.
The NSW Blues are battling to save the State of Origin series after being thumped by Queensland in Game 1 in Sydney. Pic: Getty

Smith suggested the Blues would be better off concentrating on the game than trying to upset Slater, who is one win away from claiming his third straight series win. He continued: "History shows that it's going to be a very difficult thing for them (NSW) to do, to win this series this year.


"Only one NSW side in history has been able to go on and win a series after losing game one in Sydney and then having to win in Melbourne, in a neutral venue, and then beat Queensland at home in a decider. I just think it's (the attack on Slater) hilarious.

"They've got no answers on the footy field and they're trying to unnerve the Queensland coach so it distracts him from his job. But I can tell you, it won't. It won't happen."