Brad Thorn's rich rugby league State of Origin history is stoking the fires as his Queensland Reds host the Waratahs in their own interstate showdown on Saturday night.
Coach Thorn played 11 Origin matches for Queensland between 1996 and 2005, with a four-year rugby union stint in the middle, and Reds centre Duncan Paia'aua said he remained passionate about beating NSW in any code.
With the first Origin match in Melbourne next Wednesday night, Paia'aua said Thorn had Queenslander fever.
"There's always a massive rivalry between NSW and the Reds, especially with the first State of Origin coming up and Thorny (Thorn) having played State of Origin," Paia'aua said.
"He really gets up for these games and I think the boys will too."
A win over the Australian Super Rugby conference leaders will bring to an end an eight-game losing streak including a 37-16 loss in round nine in Sydney.
But Paia'aua said his team had faith they could do it, if they played the full 80 minutes at Suncorp Stadium.
They lost their past two matches to the highly-rated Hurricanes and Highlanders by a combined seven points, with errors coming at crucial times.
"Thorny just wants us to play a full 80-minute game after coming so close," Paia'aua said.
"It was really disappointing in the last two results, coming so close and knowing we could take the game away, so that's what we will be concentrating on."
Waratah big guns Bernard Foley, Kurtley Beale and Israel Folau, who were the standouts in their loss to the Chiefs, are also in the sights of the Reds' defenders.
"Our work rate is going to be a big one," Paia'aua said.
"If we can shut down Foley and Beale and look out for Izzy out wide I think we will be right."