NORMALLY reserved Blues coach Laurie Daley has hit out at what he called an attempt by Queensland to influence the referees ahead of Wednesday night's crucial Origin game II at Suncorp Stadium.
Clearly angered by a newspaper report highlighting the fact NSW players were allowed to be offside at marker in Origin I to try to limit the influence of Maroons hooker Cameron Smith, Daley fronted reporters yesterday to say it was a case of the pot calling the kettle black.
"I'll tell you what I can do. I can give you three or four clips of Queensland not being at marker," Daley said.
"I can give you another three or four clips of them being at least a metre and a half in front of the referee if they want to go down that path."
Daley acknowledged both teams pushed the boundaries to try to gain an advantage, but said his players did not go beyond what was legal.
"They obviously feel under pressure to come out and say those things. We just play by the rules," he said.
"For us, it is about bettering our performance. Everyone pushes the boundaries. It is interesting they have come out and said those things. Obviously they are trying to influence the referee."
He even suggested that was a regular tactic ahead of matches in Brisbane where he said Queensland had won the penalty count in seven of the last eight matches.
Meanwhile rookie Blues five-eighth James Moloney said he was keen to improve on his debut in game one that produced three goals and a dazzling line break that led to a try.
"It was a good start," Maloney said. "I was happy with how I played but I need to improve in game II and take it a step further."
The Roosters playmaker acknowledged the Blues' preparation had not gone as smoothly this time around, with prop James Tamou and winger Blake Ferguson stood down for off-field issues.
Fullback Jarryd Hayne is out injured and his replacement, former Raiders bad boy Josh Dugan, has come under fire for his drinking, but Moloney said he did not believe those factors would come into play tomorrow night.
"Obviously a few things have gone on, but that's been put behind us now and with the calibre of players we've got it's not too much of a distraction," he said.
"At the end of the day we all know what we've got to do to prepare and get ourselves ready for 80 minutes at Suncorp.
"We've got a few new faces that have to come in and learn the plays, but at the moment with the way we've come along, it's nice being able to hit the training paddock and not have to start from scratch, being able to pick up from where we left off."