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Despite having home ground advantage, a more settled line-up and history on their side, last year’s Wally Lewis Medal winner Pat Carrigan said there was no chance of complacency thwarting the Maroons in their quest to wrap up this year’s series on Wednesday.

Queensland head to Suncorp Stadium as favourites to go two-nil up to make their trip to Sydney a dead rubber match, but Carrigan said the team – guided by the coaching staff – were taking a 'nil-all' mindset into the match.

“Their team is stacked,” Carrigan said of the Blues. “It is a really good side and they have got players over the park that can do a job on us.

“Not for one second will I think there is any other way (than being fully switched on for the game).

“That is out of not only respect to them, but out of respect to our fans and coaching staff and personally, the standard I want to be at.”

Carrigan also said playing in front a packed crowd at Suncorp Stadium would help the Maroons lift against a New South Wales side desperate to defy the history books which has seen only one Blues side win in “the Cauldron” to keep the series alive.

“It is exciting to come to Suncorp in Game Two,” Carrigan said.

“Suncorp is nuts. I like to learn to embrace moments. I was privileged to debut at ANZ and that was 90,000 people going nuts, but 55,000 at Suncorp is another level.

"I am super-keen and I know these boys are too.”

Murray Taulagi in Maroons camp.
Murray Taulagi in Maroons camp. ©Erick Lucero / QRL

Maroons winger Murray Taulagi, who missed last year's epic decider at Suncorp Stadium after being sidelined with COVID, agreed that the whole squad was  switched on and preparing for a tough game.

“We have moved past that (Queensland’s Game One win) now and we are focusing on this game here and we're taking it as nil-all,” Taulagi said.

“Right at this moment, we're just worrying about ourselves and not the outside noise.

“It helps when you have coaching staff that have been in that position and speak from experience.

"Having them around makes our mindset are a lot easier and sort of switches the flick on for all the boys to narrow focus down and worry about the game coming.”

Murray is set to face off against Josh Addo-Carr on the wing and knew he’d need to on his game to stop a fired-up Foxx.

“He's a player I looked up to and he’s been playing top tier footy for so long, so I try and watch how he plays,” Taulagi said.

“I don't have the speed that he does … he definitely keeps me my toes when I'm marking up against him.

“I was pretty fortunate to be in the Kangaroos camp with him, so we have a pretty good bond together and, but when it comes on the field, it's a different story.

“He's a very good player and it's always a good battle to go up against him.”

In this year's series, the Maroons have taken to adopting an African philosophy known as ‘Ubuntu’, and while many of the finer details remain in-house for the team, the overriding factor places the wellbeing of the collective ahead of the individual.

The Zulu word has been roughly translated to "I am because we are", or "humanity towards others" and is a philosophy which was prominently adopted by coach Doc Rivers as the Boston Celtics charged to the NBA title in 2008.

“It is all about this game, this jersey and this state being more than just you,” Carrigan said of how Ubuntu philosophy applied to Origin.

“Obviously, there is an opportunity for us to wear this jersey at the moment, but that is not going to last forever.

“While you get the opportunity, you have to be the best version of yourself as a footballer and the team comes before you do.

“Guys like Daly Cherry-Evans, Benny Hunt and the guys who are coaching us who have been here for a long time have drilled the 'we' into the jersey.

“When those guys don't have an ego, it makes it easy for the young fellas to come in and be the exact same.

“I am really privileged that I get to rub shoulders with those guys and learn off them as leaders and men too.”

Main image: Patrick Carrigan at Queensland training. Erick Lucero / QRL

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Queensland Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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