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3 days ago
Petero Civoniceva says NSW will be wasting its time trying to bait Queensland Origin debutant Danny Nutley on Wednesday night.
The 31-year-old Sharks hardman steps into the Origin arena under the pressure of a series decider in what may be his only appearance for Queensland.
His emotions will be on overdrive as 50,000 parochial fans cheer the Maroons onto Suncorp Stadium and NSW could seize on the opportunity to needle him in the opening minutes to see if he loses his cool.
Civoniceva said Nutley, who has been waiting for several years to pull on a Maroons jersey was not some young, inexperienced rookie.
"Danny's an old battler and his got an old head on his shoulders," said Civoniceva before Queensland's closed training session against the Queensland Residents side at Southport's Owen Park.
"If they want to play like that, they'd be playing right into Danny's hands. He loves that style of footy.
"He just works so hard, he's out of that Shane Webcke mould.
"He'll battle away all day and his first hit up is as hard as his last hit-up.
"I know how much he's really enjoying the preparation and I know he just can't wait to get out there on Wednesday night.
"He's a very passionate and very emotional guy and he won't let anyone down."
Civoniceva said apart from the obvious of limiting Andrew Johns' involvement, Queensland's forwards had to replicate their first 40 minutes of Origin I when they totally dominated NSW with controlled rugby league.
Queensland got out to a 19-0 lead on the back of a near flawless first 40 minutes before the Blues stormed back to lead 20-19 only to lose 24-20 to a Matt Bowen intercept in golden point.
"Our completion rates in that first half were right up there with of the best stats any Queensland Origin side has ever had," said Broncos prop.
"We hardly turned over any ball and as a result of that we were able to get into good field position for Darren Lockyer and Johnathan Thurston were able to get some good kicks away for us to start or defensive sets well into their territory."