Blues great Braith Anasta has dismissed the claim Queensland coach Blake Green's claim the Maroons are underdogs in State of Origin.
The rookie Queensland mentor, fresh after a season out of the game since his North Queensland NRL exit, cut a relaxed figure on familiar turf at Tuesday's captain's run in Townsville.
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He also embraced the underdog tag, which was given to the Maroons last year before they surprised the Blues with a remarkable series win.
This follows a slightly disrupted camp, with Dane Gagai (tonsillitis), Cameron Munster (foot), AJ Brimson (knee) and Harry Grant (hamstring) all running together for the first time on Tuesday since arriving in camp last Monday.
But on Fox Sports, Anasta wasn't buying into the mind games from the current State of Origin champions.
“I think the reaction to Paul Green and Dane Gagai being sick, Paul Green is so desperate to be the underdog - it’s weak as piss,” Anasta said on Fox Sports.
“The desperation, Queensland should be favourites with two home games. You’ve got Townsville and Suncorp for the second game. They won last year’s series.
"It’s his first Origin, but all Paul Green was worried about was making sure they’re the underdogs - focus on the game, mate.”
Smith gives Maroons hint Cleary tactics
Queensland legend Cameron Smith has offered his advice to the Maroons on how to nullify Nathan Cleary's game ahead of the first clash of State of Origin.
Cleary has no doubt taken his game to another level as he has steered the Penrith Panthers to an impressive lead on the NRL ladder.
However, the young halfback has failed to make his mark in State of Origin.
The future 'Immortal' said pressure from a big forward has seen Cleary struggle in the past.
“They took time and space away from him,” Smith said on SEN Radio.
“It seems as though that is when he tends to struggle. He doesn’t have that and that’s been mentioned in the build-up to this game.
“He doesn’t have that week to week when he is playing for Penrith because they are such a good football side and so well drilled and their game plan and system is built around him.
“He plays with an extra few seconds [more] than any player in the competition when he has the ball in his hands and he can pick and choose what he wants to do - run, kick, pass. This series will be a huge test for him and an opportunity to silence a few critics.”
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