Paul Gallen, Cameron Smith in agreement for fast, open Origin game


State of Origin skippers Cameron Smith (Queensland) and Paul Gallen (NSW)  meet before Game III at Suncorp Stadium. Picture: GETTY IMAGES

State of Origin skippers Cameron Smith (Queensland) and Paul Gallen (NSW) meet before Game III at Suncorp Stadium. Picture: GETTY IMAGES

They'll be foes on Wednesday night, but State of Origin skippers Paul Gallen and Cameron Smith were united on the eve of Game III in calling on the referees to ensure an open game of football.

After overseeing one of the most thrilling games in Origin history in Game I referees Shayne Hayne and Ben Cummins were criticised for not keeping the two sides apart in a dour contest in Game II that produced just one try and was marred by constant niggling tactics from both sides.

Hayne has been dropped for the third match, replaced by Gerard Sutton and both Smith and Gallen hope the pair will maintain a good 10 metres and allow the likes of Greg Inglis and Jarryd Hayne space to move.

"I suppose the 10 metres is a big one," Gallen said.

"I think the way they handled, certainly the first game, was OK.

"The second game they let both teams get away with a lot but they could probably just open the 10 metres up a bit more.

"But I don't want to see them come in and try to stamp their authority and just blow silly penalties for the sake of it.

"It's a State of Origin game, no-one wants to see penalties blown, everyone just wants to see the boys run out there and rip into each other like we have in the first two games."

The sides had no problem ripping in in Game II but Gallen denied either side went into any match with the intent to niggle the opposition.

"Personally and as a team we're just going out there to play our game and execute our game plan; that's all we're doing," Gallen said.

"I'm sure for Queensland and certainly for us, we haven't spoken about going out there to niggle anyone or give anyone cheap shots or anything like that."

Smith admitted his side was frustrated by a lack of space in Game II in which they were held try-less and said the Blues made better use of the short 10.

"At the end of the day there's two referees out there to officiate the game and they dictate the way it's going to be played," Smith said.

"It'd be nice [to have a longer 10 metres] given we've got a fair few weapons in attack but I think that was a bit of a tactic by the Blues to slow the game down and keep it at close quarters."

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