After watching last year's series victory on his own with an unreliable wi-fi connection, Cameron Munster is keen to ensure he's there to seal the deal for his side this time around as the Maroons look to retain the Origin shield next Wednesday at Suncorp Stadium.
Munster, alongside winger Murray Taulagi, was ruled out of last year's decider at Suncorp Stadium with COVID – instead forced to watch the game from the lounge room of an Airbnb as the Maroons fought back for a 22-12 victory.
“I watched that Origin on my own, so it was exciting,” Munster said with a laugh.
“I was pretty much screaming at the TV... the Airbnb wi-fi wasn't working. It was cutting in and out, so I missed the first 10 or 15 minutes of Lindsay [Collins] and Selwyn [Cobbo] getting knocked out.
“I was just watching my feed on my Facebook and Instagram... and then when the wi-fi decided to kick in and I was just trying to figure out what the hell was going on. We had blokes left, right and centre in different positions.
“But this goes to show that Billy and the coaching staff are very smart with what they do and put players in positions at training to make sure that when they do get the opportunity to be in those positions, they can defend that attack there.”
Match: Maroons v Blues
Game 2 -
Venue: Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
While Suncorp Stadium is a special place for most Queenslanders, it is especially so for Munster, who has lost just one Origin fixture at the ground since his debut in 2017.
“We have got a really good opportunity to play really good footy on Wednesday and hopefully seal up the series, but it's going to take some hard work from every player and they'll be at their best and hopefully we can do that," Munster said.
“I think I've won mostly every game I have played at Suncorp bar one, so I don't mind Suncorp.
“Hopefully, I can go out there and pretty much rewrite history and prove all the critics wrong that I'm not just a one-game per series player. It'll be good to go out there and play some football, but at the end of the day, we have all got to play our best.
“I’m really excited to hopefully play some really good footy and give the fans something to cheer about.”
Munster spoke to media on Thursday before the opposed session against the Hostplus Cup club he played for when coming up through the ranks at the Storm, featuring in the Easts Tigers' 2014 grand final loss.
There were a number of connections between the two teams, with Tino Fa'asuamaleaui also playing for club, while Pat Carrigan was a junior with the Tigers. Coach Matt Church was also a development coach with the Storm.
Current captain Ryley Jacks – who played alongside Munster while with the Storm – said it was good to catch up with some familiar faces and prepare the Maroons for Game Two after his brother Rhys and the Ipswich Jets helped out with an opposed session before Game One.
“I think everyone supports Queensland (at the Tigers), so I think everyone was trying their best to help them prepare for the game,” Jacks said.
“It was good to see Billy and Cameron and the coaching staff and a few of the boys out there as well, Munster and Tino and all of them.
“They're looking really good out there and it was great to catch up with all those boys.
“We got a lot of our young boys who have just come into today and … you can see in their face’s how excited they were looking across the field and seeing the likes of Patty, Munster who all coming through Easts.
“The boys here will remember this forever. Everyone knows their journeys – a lot of them played Cup and then have gone on to NRL and then the State of Origin as well, so there is a definitely a pathway there.
“Seeing someone else do it gives you that confidence, you can do it one day.”