Maroons to outsmart, rattle Blues: Thaiday

·2-min read

Sam Thaiday believes Queensland can rattle NSW with "controlled aggression" in a State of Origin contest that could be decided by the finest of tackling margins.

The NRL's crackdown on high contact has led to 43 sin-bins and three send-offs over the past three rounds and is set to continue during next Wednesday's Origin series opener in Townsville.

Players know any contact with the head will be costly but former Queensland forward Thaiday, regarded as one of the game's great nigglers, is backing the Maroons to toe the line and outsmart the Blues.

"You want to get to the point where you can get them off their game," he said.

"So playing with a controlled aggression is probably key and something that highlighted that to all of us was that Roosters-Broncos game, when Victor Radley lost control of his aggression.

"If the boys can have controlled aggression I'm sure they can rattle a few Blues and put us on the front foot.

"It's hard to do legally, but they'll be making sure they're tackling at the right level."

Radley was reported on four separate occasions and sent to the sin bin twice for high or dangerous contact in a shock loss to the Broncos - the Roosters lock missing an Origin debut as a result of a five-match ban.

The Maroons have suffered too, with pack leader Josh Papalii sent off for a Magic Round high shot that will rule him out of the series opener that's been shifted to Thaiday's hometown.

Queensland were boosted on Tuesday night when experienced backrower Felise Kaufusi was cleared of a tripping charge that would have ruled him out of the series opener.

But Thaiday expects Tino Faasuamaleaui to fill the void left by enforcer Papalii after the rookie waged a personal battle with Blues prop Payne Haas in last year's series.

"It added to the rivalry," Thaiday said.

"You need those on-field battles between your big boys and I applaud big Tino for doing it.

"Aggression is very important; it's as cliche as it sounds, but the forwards need to lay that platform so our flashy outside backs can score the points."

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