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Smith outlines the importance of players named 18-22 during Origin camps


Queensland assistant Cameron Smith believes the emergencies brought to Origin camps can be as important to the side’s success as the players that take the field.

With only 17 of the 22 named set to play, that leaves five players that travel in case of injury cover.

While these players often miss out on playing the 80 minutes, Smith believes they have a critical role to play, particularly during the week as the team gears up for the big stage.

Referencing the weeks ahead of both the 2009 and 2012 Grand Finals with the Melbourne Storm, Smith gave an insight into what travelling emergencies can offer to a group that’s set to take the field.

“Going back to a few big games I was involved in with the Melbourne Storm, going into the Parramatta Grand Final and Canterbury Grand Final, they had two guys that were in red hot form,” Smith said on SEN 1170 The Captain’s Run.

“Jarryd Hayne being one in 2009, and then Ben Barba in 2012, they both won the Dally M in those years.

“In the lead-up to those games, we designated one guy from the Storm squad - who wasn’t going to be a part of that Grand Final team - as Jarryd Hayne for that preparation and Ben Barba for the other preparation.

“They trained opposed to our side all week and emulated what those players did.

“That allowed us to go out there, play well and defend those players as well as we did in those two matches.”

As players often find themselves on autopilot throughout 80 minutes of football, former Bronco Denan Kemp understands how useful using emergencies as opposition emulators on the training track can prove come game time.

“It puts in your head that you’re constantly aware, ‘That’s Hayne’, or ‘That’s Barba’,” Kemp said.

“When you’re on the field sometimes when you’re in the heat of the battle, you don’t concentrate, you go with the flow.

“When you’re always thinking or have to be aware that, ‘Hayne has the ball’, or ‘Barba has the ball’, that’s really interesting how important the squad is.”

Tom Dearden, Thomas Flegler, Beau Fermor, Corey Oates and Reece Walsh have been named as the players picked 18 through 22 for Smith’s Queensland side.

State of Origin II will be hosted at Perth’s Optus Stadium with kick-off billed for 7:50pm on Sunday night.

Photo: QLDMaroons

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