Munster out to avoid Origin 'pants-ing'

Ed Jackson
·3-min read

Queensland five-eighth Cameron Munster knows only too well how quickly a 1-0 State of Origin series lead can vanish.

The Maroons head to Sydney for Wednesday's game two aiming to wrap up the series after their 18-14 upset win over NSW in Adelaide last week.

It was a similar situation for Munster and his teammates last year when they headed west to Perth having claimed a game-one victory in Brisbane.

Instead of securing the Origin shield in Western Australia however, the Maroons were thumped 38-6.

NSW then wrapped up a second consecutive series win in Sydney in game three to leave that opening win as a distant memory for Munster and his teammates.

It's a scenario the Melbourne Storm playmaker will be harking back to at any sign of complacency in Queensland's camp this week.

"We're in the same position as we were last year and we got our pants pulled down in Sydney and Perth," Munster said.

"We need to make sure what we did last week, we need to improve and be better, because the Blues have got strike all over the park and we know they can be really forceful and aggressive and score points.

"We know they're going to be at do-or-die on Wednesday night in Sydney, a big packed stadium ... last week is not going to be good enough for this week."

The Maroons are sweating on the fitness of Kurt Capewell, with the centre still battling to overcome a groin niggle.

In Sunday's training session at CBUS Super Stadium, Capewell only undertook light duties alongside Brenko Lee (calf) as the team trained with Phillip Sami at centre and Edrick Lee on the left wing.

It means Tuesday's captain's run will be Capewell's last chance to train fully before Wednesday's game after limping off late in the Adelaide victory when his groin became too sore to play on.

Munster was happy for the 27-year-old to be given every opportunity to prove his fitness.

"He obviously played well on Wednesday night and we just need to make sure he's right for Wednesday," Munster said.

"If that that means he doesn't train all week until captain's run, that's what he'll have to do."

Sami, one of eight debutants for Queensland in Origin I along with Capewell, has made just one appearance at centre for Gold Coast in the NRL in the past two seasons.

Overall, the 23-year-old has played centre in just four of his 55 NRL appearances.

If selected, Newcastle winger Lee would be the third debutant in the Queensland lineup for game three along with Moeaki Fotuaika and Dunamis Lui.

"Edrick's a really good player. He's obviously shown at the Knights that he can finish tries and is good in the air," Munster said.

"He's strong in the backfield so he'd be really good for us.

"Obviously we've seen on Wednesday night with how Phillip Sami played, he's very quick and he's good with his feet so he will be very handy for us if we need to use him in the centres as well."

The Maroons have a day off on Monday before their final training run on the Gold Coast on Tuesday.