Nathan Cleary sends warning to Maroons ahead of Origin decider

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·Sports Reporter
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Nathan Cleary (pictured) celebrating after a NSW State of Origin win.
Nathan Cleary (pictured) said he is looking forward to the State of Origin decider at Suncorp Stadium, despite the Blues' horrible record in Queensland. (Getty Images)

Blues star Nathan Cleary said he holds no fears the State of Origin decider at Suncorp stadium and said he is looking at the challenge as an opportunity to stamp his name on the contest.

Cleary played his best game in a Blues jersey with a masterful performance in Game II to help NSW demolish the Maroons 44-12 in Perth.

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The star halfback went into the game having criticised his own performance after Game I, but looked a different player as he set up two tries, scored two of his own and nailed a perfect eight from eight goals.

The dominant victory followed Queensland's 16-10 win in the series opener in Sydney, with NSW now chasing a win in Brisbane to seal the series from 1-0 for just the fourth time.

However, the experienced halfback - despite only being 24 years old - understands winning in Queensland's backyard is no easy task.

NSW have won just 20 of the 58 Origins played at Suncorp Stadium and those figures become even grimmer when talking about game three deciders.

Of the 12 deciders played in Brisbane, the Blues have only won two - in 1994 and 2005.

However, Cleary has admitted he enjoyed playing at Suncorp stadium and is relishing the hostile atmosphere awaiting the Blues.

"I've never really looked at Suncorp as a scary place," Cleary said.

"I see it as a great opportunity and a great challenge every time we go there.

"It's a great stadium. It's super loud there and it's just a fun place to play footy at.

"The experiences maybe help a little bit but there's going to be a whole different ball game.

"It's a great challenge, but also a great opportunity."

NSW looking at last year's success

Last year, NSW manages to win in both Townsville and Suncorp with a 26-0 flogging at the home of Queensland rugby league.

Not only was that the first time in Origin history the Blues had won back-to-back matches in Queensland, it was the first time the Maroons had been held scoreless at their home ground.

Ex-Blue Greg Alexander, who is now part of Fittler's coaching staff, said the team will be looking at last year's series triumph to help nullify Queensland's home advantage.

James Tedesco (pictured middle) and team mates chat during a New South Wales Blues State of Origin training session.
James Tedesco (pictured middle) and team mates chat during a New South Wales Blues State of Origin training session. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)

"I know it wasn't game three last year but it was game two at Suncorp Stadium and that was after playing in Townsville in game one," Alexander told AAP.

"They know what it will take it and history is always important to look back and see what has happened but history sometimes doesn't impact what you do.

"These boys, I think they're ready.

"They know what they need to do to win."

with AAP

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