GREG Inglis has had his fair share of pressure in an illustrious career, but he says he is now ready to play from fullback in the 2015 State of Origin deciding game on Wednesday.
Inglis has played at fullback a total of 91 times in the NRL, but this will be just his second chance to play at the back against the game’s elite talent in Origin.
The big number one knows how difficult the position is, but he feels confident he can deliver on the big stage.
“It just comes through confidence and being confident with the boys around you in order to boss them around the field and tell them to get in the right position,” Inglis said.
“Obviously being at the back, the front line can’t always see where the opposition’s coming. Talk is very vital and that’s what Billy does extremely well.
“It’s something that I’ve been learning over the last few years and I’ve been getting there, it’s just continuing to do it.”
His teammates expect big things from Inglis at the fullback position as Queensland ($1.62 at Sportsbet.com.au) try to reclaim the State of Origin title after losing it last year.
“Just having his big frame and his ability to break tackles; he’s such a player that anything can happen around so it gives us a fair bit of excitement there that he’s at the back,” said Queensland prop Matt Scott.
“We’re definitely going to miss Billy [Slater] and what he brings to the game, but Greg obviously brings his own type of skill and excitement to fullback.”
Inglis is known for his bullish running and ability to play the ball quickly, attributes Scott thinks make a big difference in Origin.
“It’s a massive difference, especially in this game where field position’s so important,” Scott said.
“If we can have a good kick return from a front-rower it’s gold, I love it. You don’t have to go back too far so if Greggy [Inglis] can do a job for us like that and we can limit the amount of yards they have defensively so they’re putting long kicks in and he’s catching them on the full, that’s what we want.”
Inglis will be preparing to field kicks from both Blues kickers Trent Hodkinson and Mitchell Pearce, but also from the hooker role with either Robbie Farah or Michael Ennis.
“Probably more refresh my memory of their kicking and where they’re planning to kick and what types of kicks they’re going to do and obviously working with my back five as well,” Inglis said.
“Origin is any position is a big step up and you find out very quickly about you as a player and as a character.”
Morris excited about opportunity
Brett Morris was unable to celebrate with his teammates last year after being injured in Game One, but this year he is hoping to enjoy the spoils on the field.
The noted try-scorer will run out for the New South Wales Blues ($2.25 at CrownBet.com.au) in the hopes of winning back-to-back titles.
“It’s one of those things I want to do,” Morris said. “I want to be part of a winning series and to be on the field for the decider.
“It hurt missing last year, but it was great sitting in the stands and watching a New South Wales victory.
“I want to be holding up the shield in a playing kit, not a suit.”
Morris said the Game One win at Suncorp gave his team plenty of confidence.
“As a player you get used to it. In the past it was probably daunting,” Morris said. “These days [for] a lot of players it lifts them and they get really excited by the crowd.
“I sat in the crowd in 2009 when Josh [Morris] was playing. They started turning a bit feral. They’d won, it was 2-0. The boys beat them. They were starting to go crazy. I was in the stands in the Blues jersey giving it back to them.
“It’s a great place to watch rugby league.”
As per usual, Origin is full of off-the-field chatter and Morris doesn’t believe fellow teammate David Klemmer was guilty of showing a lack of respect for the Queenslanders.
“They are a great side and have a lot of future immortals,” Morris said. “In the past we have been too nice and given them a bit too much respect.
“In saying that, we’re not being disrespectful, we’re going out there playing as hard as we can and leaving egos as soon as you step over the white line. ‘Klem’ has played two games, and a lot of guys are saying he is disrespectful.
“He goes out there and tries his hardest and leaves everything on the field. When he leaves the field he shakes their hands and shows them the respect he has to. From them demanding respect, we are out there to do the same thing they are doing. In the past they have done it better, now it’s starting to shift and our guys are really ripping in.
“As footballers you go out there as a player you try and play the hardest you can. We’ve been too worried about them as players, now we are worried about ourselves. We will shake their hands at the end of the game and show them respect, when it’s game time it’s on,” Morris added.
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