DRAG(O)N A COWBOY | The St George-Illawarra Dragons have claimed a narrow win over the reigning prem...
3 hours ago - 1 Likes
NSW scrum-base duo Andrew Johns and makeshift five-eighth Shaun Timmins clearly took the honours in Origin I in Brisbane as the Blues went 1-0 up in the series following their 25-12 victory.
But with NSW looking to wrap up the series at Telstra Stadium on Wednesday night, Berrigan and Ikin will be on a mission.
Neither player shied from their critics, Ikin admitting he'd been caught off guard by the demands of Origin football following two seasons on the sidelines recovering from career-threatening knee operations.
"It was bloody hard ... I'd forgotten just how fast State of Origin actually was, it's another level," said Ikin.
"There's no doubt about it, I have a big job do."
Berrigan was tremendous in a National Rugby League match against Canberra on Sunday - four days after Bennett took a shot at his Origin effort.
"Sometimes a game just gets away from you and you find yourself on the wrong side of the play," said Berrigan, a much different player to the scheming Allan Langer he replaced this year.
The Blues trained without incident at Telstra Stadium on Thursday, with lock Luke Ricketson (hip), skipper Andrew Johns (calf), centre Jamie Lyon (hamstring) and second-rower Craig Fitzgibbon (fractured eye socket) undertaking all or part of the session.
Fitzgibbon said he was confident of playing his second Origin match but will visit an eye specialist on Monday for a final clearance.
Lyon appeared a little hesitant at training today and it is believed he has a similar injury to the one which put Blues back-rower Ben Kennedy in doubt for Origin I.
Origin II is officially a sell-out, with the last tickets snapped up at 11am this morning for the 80,000-seat Olympic Stadium.
Queensland focused on bringing hooker Michael Crocker and fellow Origin debutant Scott Sattler up to speed with the plays at the side's first training session in Brisbane today.
Crocker said he played a different brand of football to injured hooker PJ Marsh and was known more for his defensive attributes than Blues pair Danny Buderus and Craig Wing.
"Those guys are attacking players, I'm more defensive," said Crocker, who turns 23 on Saturday.