Sport NSW's Fifita tired of Cameron Smith's face

15:50  19 june  2017
15:50  19 june  2017 Source:   MSN

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It's the simmering, hot-blooded NRL rivalry that threatens to re-erupt in State of Origin II.

Queensland's shock selection of Tim Glasby means a combined 10 Melbourne and Cronulla stars add a fierce subplot to the ANZ Stadium blockbuster on Wednesday.

Glasby will make his Origin debut for Queensland alongside four Storm teammates, while four of the five Sharks players on show make up a core of the Blues squad.

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Cameron Smith © Chris Hyde/Getty Images Cameron Smith Cronulla's Valentine Holmes is the odd man out among the 10 as he will be playing against his clubmates when he makes his Origin debut.

Not since 2000 decider combatants Brisbane and the Sydney Roosters provided a mammoth 18 players in 2003 have so many grand final foes featured in an interstate clash.

For Storm pair Cameron Smith and Will Chambers, and Sharks quartet Andrew Fifita, James Maloney, Jack Bird, and Wade Graham, it will be their fourth battle in two months.

For Smith and Fifita, who were either rested or had the bye after the Origin series-opener before locking horns at club level in round 14, it will be their third consecutive meeting.

And Blues prop Fifita's just about sick of the sight of the Maroons skipper.

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  State of Origin 2017: Andrew Fifita riled by Josh McGuire's post-match sledge NSW prop Andrew Fifita has revealed a verbal tirade from the Queenslanders after full-time will be stored in the memory bank as motivation as the Blues head to Suncorp Stadium for a decider.Fairfax Media understands Maroons lock Josh McGuire let fly with what has been described as a "disrespectful" sledge at Fifita as the exhausted Blues prop slumped to his haunches after full-time on Wednesday night.

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"I've versed Smithy the last two games I've played and it's happening again for a third time," Fifita said.

  NSW's Fifita tired of Cameron Smith's face © AAP Image/Julian Smith "I'm tired of seeing his face every time I play footy.

"I guess he's the same with me."

Fifita has a long bitterness for the Storm.

He revealed his starring role in the Sharks' drought-breaking premiership win over Melbourne last year was fuelled by an under-20s grand final loss against the same club in 2009.

Back then he was with Wests Tigers.

That pain helped him almost claim the Clive Churchill medal last year.

"Before my grand final last year, my motivation was that they beat me in the under-20s grand final in 2009; I was a bit filthy about that," Fifita said.

"And if I'm thinking that because of a 20s grand final, then I can only image how they are feeling about us after a first grade one."

Fifita's club and Blues teammate Graham believes fans enjoy the tension between the two teams, whose ledger currently tips in the Sharks' favour 3-2 over their past five games.

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  Smith to settle Qld Origin rookies' nerves Queensland captain Cameron Smith says he has full faith in their four rookies but will have a quiet word to settle their nerves ahead of State of Origin II.But the Maroons captain says he will have a quiet word to settle them before Queensland looks to keep the series alive in Wednesday night's Origin II in Sydney.

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"Both teams have played in the big games, that's where the rivalry stems from," Graham said.

"Two teams that really like to go at each other, both play a style of footy that's similar.

"We both want to push the boundaries at certain times but they're always great contests.

"They're always big games to play in, and fun to play in.

"I'm sure they're good to watch too, to see the players care.

"It's really personal to us."

Another Sharks star, Maloney, said their recent success over the Storm gave his teammates the belief that they could more than be competitive against them.

"I suppose it's good for our confidence, that we've been there and got them before," he said.

"It's a good rivalry; hopefully we get the better of them again."


Cronulla: Valentine Holmes (Queensland), Jack Bird, Andrew Fifita, Wade Graham, James Maloney (NSW)

Melbourne: Will Chambers, Cooper Cronk, Tim Glasby, Billy Slater, Cameron Smith (Queensland)


Brisbane: Michael De Vere (NSW), Shaun Berrigan, Dane Carlaw, Tonie Carroll, Petero Civoniciva, Andrew Gee, Ben Ikin, Darren Lockyer, Gorden Tallis, Brent Tate, Shane Webcke (Queensland)

Sydney Roosters: Chris Flannery, Shannon Hegarty, Justin Hodges, (Queensland), Craig Fitzgibbon, Anthony Minichiello, Luke Ricketson, Craig Wing (NSW)

Comment: Why the Maroons are better for Origin II .
NSW coach Laurie Daley believes Queensland's Origin II side is far more dangerous than the one they named for the series opener and here's a look at why.BILLY SLATER

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