Missing Origin decider hurt: B-Moz
NSW winger Brett Morris says despite his efforts helping the Blues to a drought-breaking State of Origin series win last year, it hurt not being on the field due to injury in Game Two when the series was won or Game Three when the shield was raised.
Last year, Morris wrote himself into Origin folklore with a courageous performance in Game One, fracturing a shoulder scoring a try then playing out the game despite the pain and putting the shoulder to the test by making a match-saving tackle on Maroons winger Darius Boyd.
The performance came at a price though, forcing him to miss the rest of the series, watching from the sidelines as his teammates broke an eight-year drought.
"It's one of the things I want to do. I want to be part of a winning series and be on the field for the decider," Morris said from the Blues Coffs Harbour camp this week.
"It hurt missing last year but it was great sitting in the stands and watching a NSW victory.
"I want to be holding up the shield in a playing kit, not a suit."
Like his teammates, Morris said the Game One win at Suncorp helped remove the fear factor from one of rugby league's most intimidating cauldrons.
"As a player you get used to it. In the past it was probably daunting. These days [for] a lot of players it lifts them and they get really excited by the crowd," he said.
"I sat in the crowd in 2009 when [my brother] Josh was playing. They started turning a bit feral. They'd won, it was 2-0. The boys beat them. They were starting to go crazy. I was in the stands in the Blues jersey giving it back to them. It's a great place to watch rugby league."
Morris wasn't buying into talk that his young Bulldogs teammate David Klemmer was guilty of showing a lack of respect to the Queenslanders.
"They are a great side and have a lot of future Immortals. In the past we have been too nice and given them a bit too much respect," Morris said.
"In saying that, we're not being disrespectful, we're going out there playing as hard as we can and leaving egos as soon as you step over the white line. 'Klem' has played two games, and a lot of guys are saying he is disrespectful.
"He goes out there and tries his hardest and leaves everything on the field. When he leaves the field he shakes their hands and shows them the respect he has to. From them demanding respect, we are out there to do the same thing they are doing. In the past they have done it better, now it's starting to shift and our guys are really ripping in.
"As footballers you go out there as a player you try and play the hardest you can. We've been too worried about them as players, now we are worried about ourselves. We will shake their hands at the end of the game and show them respect, when it's game time it's on."
Klemmer's stocks have skyrocketed over the past six weeks; he impressed in his Kangaroos debut in last year's Four Nations series but his outstanding efforts in his first two Origins and sensational club form over the same period have won him a new legion of fans.
"'Klem' is one of those guys who trains the way he plays. There were a couple of times at training in the off-season where he took my head off," Morris laughed of his teammate's enthusiasm and passion.
"That's one of those things. He is passionate. He loves his job and gets out there and rips in. There are probably a lot of people who would want him in their side. We are lucky we have him at the Bulldogs and the Blues. We don't want him to change."
This article first appeared on NRL.com