Blues no longer the nice guys

STATE OF ORIGIN

Finally, the Blues have embraced the whatever-it-takes mentality to win a State of Origin series.

For eight miserable years, we've sat in front of the television, holding back the tears as Cameron Smith, Johnathan Thurston, Billy Slater or Cooper Cronk break our hearts.

It barely mends in time for it to happen all over again.

But the "no more mister nice guy" routine this year is not just a facade.

Hard evidence of the whatever it takes mentality emerged from their camp before Wednesday's series opener at Suncorp Stadium.

Laurie Daley - an annual finalist in the world's nicest bloke competition - locked the media out of training sessions at Coffs Harbour.

Last year, Daley was his affable, forthcoming self but couldn't prevent the Blues from coming up short again.

This time, he has a vastly more steeled approach.

The players have sworn off booze and undergone sleep pattern analysis and other cutting edge technology in a bid to peak when the whistle blows.

The Maroons themselves concede Daley understands what is needed to be successful. He won five Origin series as a player.

It's no longer satisfactory to be underdogs, or building for the future.

Brett Morris and Trent Merrin are among players who have been there before and must be sick of losing.

Bulldogs duo Trent Hodkinson and Josh Reynolds have been asked to take control and dominate communication within, and leadership of, this team.

They are Origin rookies there to win, not just to be blooded.

Everyone knows what Queensland are capable of. It's not just about stopping them, the time has come to take a stand and become superior.

Whatever it takes.

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