NSW skipper Paul Gallen has thought about lifting the State of Origin shield every day for years.
No one has lost more Origin series than Gallen, who’s endured the increasingly bitter taste of interstate defeat eight times.
After their epic 12-8 win in game one, NSW are in the box seat to finally end Queensland’s unprecedented eight-year winning streak, and Gallen says it’s something that’s been on his mind for years.
“I have to be honest, I have thought about Origin every day for years now, it has been a huge goal of mine,” Gallen said head of Wednesday’s game two at ANZ Stadium.
“I have had a chequered Origin career, up and down, missing games and injuries and stuff like that.
“I try not to think about it. I try to think about what I have to do to get there, but I would be lying if I said I never thought about it (winning).”
Gallen says the Blues owe it to their long suffering fans to finally end their Origin drought.
After a long line of Origin defeats, the players are aware of what’s on the line.
“I just take every Origin game as it comes these days, I don’t take anything for granted,” he said.
“I don’t take the fact that we won game one as anything – this is the decider for us and that is the attitude we are taking into the game.
“It is like game one for us again.
Gallen says the NSW players need to be mentally strong and if they have any doubts heading into Wednesday’s blockbuster they’ll be punished.
But as momentum builds, so does expectation, and he’d like nothing better than to give the home fans something to cheer about.
“It amazes me how big Origin gets every year,” he said.
“It has been huge and the expectation has got even bigger.
“To come down here and win in front of our home fans would be great not just for us but for them as well, they have backed us for a long time now and we probably owe them.”