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New South Wales premier Dominic Perrottet has taken the mickey out of his predecessor as the state gears up for the first State of Origin game on Wednesday night.
Rugby league fans will remember the downright strange image then-premier Berejiklian posted in the lead-up to last year's opening game.
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Standing with her back to the camera and holding an unopened can of Coke Zero while wearing a Blues beanie, the premier wrote: 'Getting ready for Game 1. Go the NSW Blues!'.
— Gladys Berejiklian (@GladysB) June 9, 2021
Sports fans were equally amused and bemused by the post, which went up hours before live coverage of the match even started and featured the then-premier staring at a comically small screen.
A year on from the memorably lampooned post, Perrottet posted an identical image to Twitter on Wednesday afternoon - prompting another round of amusing photoshops.
— Dom Perrottet (@Dom_Perrottet) June 8, 2022
While many got the joke and loved it, some took it as a dig at his predecessor.
Thank you for defending our great state always pic.twitter.com/C1NuHMwSOG
— jack ryan 🙏 (@dctrjack) June 8, 2022
This is actually brilliant
— Lesley Podesta (@podesta_lesley) June 8, 2022
Unfortunately this is elite
— Tony Shalhoub Memes (@maximumcuddles) June 8, 2022
Dom Perrottet has unknowingly created an obligation on all NSW Premiers forevermore to shitpost this precise tweet every year https://t.co/3nfCxnd6fl
— casey briggs (@CaseyBriggs) June 8, 2022
strong gear from Dominic Perrottet as we mark one year anniversary of this instant classic pic.twitter.com/csJbKryrGr
— Josh Butler (@JoshButler) June 8, 2022
— Michael O'Brien (@michaelobrienmp) June 8, 2022
Berejiklian's bizarre pose turned out to be a good omen for the Blues last year, as they went on to record a 2-1 series victory.
One year after blowing Queensland off the park in Townsville, NSW are preparing for a significantly different showing in Game I this year at Accor Stadium.
NSW wrapped up their preparations on Tuesday for the series-opener with a light captain's run at Sydney Olympic Park to be followed by a mid-morning walk on Wednesday.
Coach Brad Fittler also left the door open for a late change, stating he would "not confirm nor deny" if Stephen Crichton could start at left centre with Jack Wighton back on the bench.
Whatever the line up, NSW are well aware this year will be very different to 2021 when they thumped Queensland 50-6 in Townsville ahead of the most lopsided series in history with all games played up north.
"We train to play like (it will be tight)," Fittler said.
"We make sure every time we run out we understand that if it is a tight game it's all about pressure and doing those little things right.
"There's a good chance that will be happening tomorrow night.
"I can't imagine the scoreline getting away from anyone. But we are prepared for it to go either way."
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NSW have also lost their major attacking weapons from last year in Tom Trbojevic and Latrell Mitchell, but insist their structure does not need to significantly change.
Regardless though, all signs point to a tighter clash in Sydney.
All bar one of the last 19 Origins at Accor Stadium has been decided by 10 points or less, with the only exception being the post-season match in 2020 where there was no dew.
Series-openers are also traditionally lower scoring, with last year's Game I the first in more than a decade to have more than 40 points scored.
"It's hard to say (exactly how Game I will be)," Fittler said on Tuesday.
"Tomorrow will be a lot like it is today, there is a fair bit of wind around.
"So I am assuming the field might be a lot dryer than it normally is. Which allows you to throw the ball around."
NSW's Penrith core also believe they are well adept for the long grind if required.
Led by their six Blues players, Penrith averaged just 10.5 points a game in last year's final before lifting the trophy.
"That's what we are looking forward to the most, the tough stuff," five-eighth Jarome Luai said.
"We expect that tough grind and you've got the earn the right to play expansively later in the game when it opens up."
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