Maroons five-eighth Cameron Munster has hit back at Queensland’s critics ahead of State of Origin II on Wednesday, slamming “disrespectful” reporting in the media.
Queensland stars Kalyn Ponga, David Fifita, Michael Morgan, Moses Mbye and Valentine Holmes were each unavailable for the series opener at Adelaide Oval for varying reasons.
With a cluster of debutants in their starting 13, several rugby league pundits labelled this year’s Maroons side the worst Queensland team in history.
But the Maroons secured a shock 18-14 victory in Origin I on Wednesday, with Munster snaring a critical try after halftime.
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“I don’t really read too much in the media, but I guess that’s not a great accolade to have … it’s a bit of disrespect from them,” Munster told reporters on Sunday.
“We’re in the same position we were in last year, where we won the first game and lost the last two.
“All we can do now is make our performance talk – they can talk as much as they want in the media, but for us to get a bit more back is to play well on Wednesday night.
“We’ve got no pressure on us, everyone is really doubting us and we’re the underdogs.”
The New South Wales Blues now require back-to-back wins in Sydney and Brisbane to retain the title for a third consecutive year.
Cameron Munster of the Maroons.Source:Getty Images
Munster also praised Queensland coach Wayne Bennett, whose calming presence in the change rooms spurred a second-half resurgence from the Maroons in Origin I.
“He reiterates what I do and puts confidence in me. Even though I probably don’t need it, he just backs me with what I do and gives me that licence to play what I see,” Munster said.
“That gives me a lot of confidence going into the game, knowing that he has got my back.
“That is what you want from a coach. I’m only six foot two but it feels like I am seven foot out there at times getting coached by him.”
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