You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Cameron Smith won't change Origin approach

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 13/06/2017 Laine Clark

Queensland skipper Cameron Smith says he has no plans to tone down his approach to officials at next week's must win State of Origin game two despite copping flak as "referee Smith" by Cronulla coach Shane Flanagan.

Smith's perceived influence on match officials again came under scrutiny after Flanagan's crack at the Melbourne captain following their last round NRL win over the Sharks.

NSW fear Smith will again be at his influential best when the Maroons line up for June 21's Origin II in Sydney.

Flanagan later apologised for his "referee Smith" jibe but the Queensland captain laughed it off ahead of their crunch clash with the Blues.

Smith said he wouldn't be changing anything in Origin II - although he warned critics he may not be doing it too well based on Melbourne's poor penalty count record this season.

"It's fairly common these days. I hear it during matches 'you can penalise Smith, don't listen to Smith'. I just have a bit of a giggle," Smith said.

"But if I was controlling the referees I am not doing a very good job of it. I have played 13 games this year and we won the penalty count four times.

"I might need to go back to that refereeing school."

Smith will be reunited with Melbourne fullback Billy Slater and North Queensland five-eighth Johnathan Thurston in a new look Queensland side with four debutants and seven changes following their record 28-4 game one loss.

Slater will play his first Origin since game two 2015 after overcoming two shoulder reconstructions.

"It's great to see him at this level when a lot of people doubted him," Smith said of Slater.

"I know how much it means to him to play for the Maroons. The last time he played for the Maroons he probably shouldn't have been playing. He had a busted shoulder.

"He probably should have been on an operating table getting fixed rather than playing but he wanted to do his best for the state.

"I am excited about what he will bring to the team and to have him back in the No.1 jersey, get that combination going in the spine again."

However, Smith said the opening defeat - their biggest Origin loss at Suncorp Stadium - had ensured the Maroons wouldn't be relying solely on their old guard to turn it around for Queensland.

"I wouldn't say our confidence took a beating. It was a more of a wake-up call," Smith said of game one.

"You can't go out on the field and expect it to happen, you have to make it happen. You can't rely on a few individuals to get you home.

As painful as it was to watch, Smith said they had identified areas where they could improve by combing over the nightmare vision of game one.

"We looked over some vision. It was pretty difficult to watch but it had to shown because we need to fix those areas," he said.

"Personally I haven't lost any confidence in our side going down to Sydney and winning."

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon