Kevin Walters says his players are determined to avoid a whitewash. Pic Peter Wallis
Kevin Walters says his players are determined to avoid a whitewash. Pic Peter Wallis

Walters declares Maroons are ready

QUEENSLAND coach Kevin Walters has no fear of a 2000-style dead rubber blowout, saying his squad has the right attitude for Origin III.

The last time the Maroons suffered a whitewash at the hands of NSW was 18 years ago, with the Mark Murray-coached side embarrassed in Game Three when the Blues claimed a 56-16 victory.

Queensland great Gorden Tallis was part of that losing side and last week warned the current Maroons team to not make the same mistakes.

Walters said he had no fear of that occurring at Suncorp Stadium on Wednesday night.

While the 2000 series provided today's players with a lesson, he knew they were in the right mindset from the moment he stepped into the game three camp.

"We're not seeing it as a dead rubber," he said.

"(The 2000 series) was 18 years ago. The game's changed from there and Origin certainly has as well. It is a good reminder for all of our players about how important this match is, particularly at home in front of our fans.

Ben Hunt shows the pain as Blues players celebrate their 2018 State of Origin series win over Queensland.
Ben Hunt shows the pain as Blues players celebrate their 2018 State of Origin series win over Queensland. DAVID MOIR

"It's one that we want to have them walking out of here feeling really proud about our team and their performance.

"We need to win more than anything else … we don't want to lose the series 3-0.

"Every game's important that you play for Queensland.

"When you wear that jersey, you have to wear it with pride and do the jersey justice. That's what we're looking for."

Walters' stance and belief in his team's motivation flies in the face of NSW playmaker James Maloney's suggestion this week that Queenslanders are "not as passionate as they think".

James Maloney has had a dig at Queensland fans. Picture: Peter Rae
James Maloney has had a dig at Queensland fans. Picture: Peter Rae

The Maroons mentor refused to respond to Maloney's comments.

"James knows about Queensland now, does he? We'll just leave that one there," he said.

Instead, Walters was adamant Queensland could take a lot from Wednesday night's game.

He said the final showdown of the 2018 series was not just about getting the win, but preparing for their future.

"It's about building for next year and the only way to build for next year is for our players to play well and get a win," he said.

"Some of the changes we have made to the team are with an eye on that (future). It's a big match for our guys. We think we have the right players in the squad here."



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