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The two players Slater says Queensland must target for Game II


Queensland Maroons coach Billy Slater knows his side will need to be at their best in Game II of State of Origin given the additions to the Blues' squad.

After a surprise loss in Game I, the Blues made sweeping changes to their squad including Angus Crichton, Jake Trbojevic and Siosifa Talakai who will make his Origin debut from the bench.

Slater believes the addition of Penrith Panthers hooker Api Koroisau is of most concern given his blistering speed and cohesion with several Penrith representatives in the Blues' starting side.

“They’re bringing different strengths,” Slater said on SEN 1170 The Captain’s Run.

“Api Koroisau is a real crafty number nine and it’s a different look.

“We are going to have really be on our game with Api at dummy half just with his trickery and his combinations with Yeo, Cleary and Luai.

“When you lose Game I, you have an intensity lift and there’s going to be an intensity lift.

“We need to match that and dish out a bit of that energy ourselves.

“There are different players but we still have the same focus.”

Arguably the most notable change to the NSW team is Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs playmaker Matt Burton who will debut in the centre position.

Burton has had a stellar month and the 22-year-old’s kicking game is set to cause headaches for the Maroons side who did an excellent job in curtailing Nathan Cleary’s right foot in Game I.

“It’s definitely something we’ve addressed,” Slater continued.

“We’ve got to think like them and what would we do if that was our Game I and our kicker was under that sort of pressure.

“We’ll be ready for whatever happens and make sure we have pressure in waves.

“That’s our focus.”

Queensland arrive in Perth on Thursday and will secure the series with a win at Optus Stadium on June 26.

The kick-off is set for 7:50 pm on Sunday night.

Rugby League State of Origin Maroons Blues

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