Cameron Munster says Maroons coach and Euchre partner Wayne Bennett has made him feel "seven foot tall" as he prepares to go up another notch in Sydney against the Blues.
Munster was superb in the 18-14 win over NSW in Adelaide where he scored a brilliant individual try to keep Damien Cook at bay in the second half and where his kicking game was on song.
Bennett said last week that Munster epitomised what being a Maroon meant with his competitive spirit and determination to not let a nagging knee injury prevent him joining camp and giving his best.
The Melbourne Storm dual-premiership winner said Bennett, who is coaching him for the first time, had not just instilled confidence in the new players to the Origin arena.
"He reiterates what I do and puts confidence in me. Even though I probably don't need it, he just backs me with what I do and gives me that licence to play what I see," Munster said.
"That gives me a lot of confidence going into the game, knowing that he has got my back.
"That is what you want from a coach. I'm only six foot two but it feels like I am seven foot out there at times getting coached by him."
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Munster quipped that he was Bennett's Euchre partner and that they currently held a 3-2 lead over opponents Mal Meninga and Allan Langer in a card game still in progress.
"Soon to be 4-2 tonight," Munster grinned.
Bennett will be more pleased by Munster's assertion that he still has a trump card up his sleeve for Wednesday night's showdown.
Match: Blues v Maroons
Game 2 -
Venue: ANZ Stadium, Sydney
"I can go to another level and that is about backing myself, running the ball and having options on my outside and inside," Munster said.
"That is something I can be better with but that was the best running game [in Adelaide] I have had for the last six weeks.
"I am getting more confidence in my knee and fingers crossed I can do something similar, if not better, in game two.
"The knee is good now. It is beautiful. I will be raring to go by Wednesday. Me and the physios are very surprised by how well it has pulled up."
The Maroons were 1-0 up last year before losing the series and Munster said Wednesday night in Sydney was "a big moment for our state". He said the promotion of South Sydney playmaker Cody Walker at five-eighth would make NSW even more dangerous.
"We were in the same position last year and got our pants pulled down in Perth so we need to make sure that we improve because the Blues have got strike all over the park," Munster said.
"We know they are going to be do or die in a packed stadium. For us, last week is not going to be good enough.
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"We can be heaps better. There was some frantic stuff in the first half and our good ball wasn't as good as what we wanted it to be. That showed in the first 15 minutes. Then we were 10-nil down but stuck with them and grinded it out.
"In the second half we were more clinical and more diligent with our field positions but we need to be better than last week because if we aren't it will be the same result as last year."
Meanwhile centre Kurt Capewell, the hero in Adelaide for Queensland, trained with Brenko Lee in the rehab group on Sunday as he battled an injured groin. Phil Sami trained at centre and Edrick Lee on the wing in the team run.
Munster suggested Capewell would be given until Tuesday's captain's run to prove his fitness.
He said it would be a case of "the next man up mentality" for Queensland if Capewell was ruled out.
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"Edrick is a really good player and has obviously shown at the Knights that he can finish tries and is good in the air and strong in the back field, so he will be really good for us," Munster said.,
"You have seen on Wednesday night how Phillip Sami plays. He is very quick and good with his feet so he will be very handy for us if we need to use him in the centres."
Game two tickets start from $45 for members and $49 for general public or get your wig and experience the Blatchy’s effect from $85 for members or $90 for the general public