As he is for the Sharks on a weekly basis, James Maloney will be a crucial player in the Blues chances of claiming a win in game three when they tackle Queensland on Wednesday night.
The owner of two premiership rings, one with Sharks, the other while at the Roosters, Maloney has yet to taste series success for NSW, with his focus in recent weeks surrounding the Origin decider.
Like a number of his Sharks teammates Maloney was short of his best in the loss to the Sea Eagles, however he returned to the form which has him firmly entrenched in the NSW side in the lop-sided victory over the Roosters.
While in a perfect world Maloney would leave thoughts of Origin behind after each of the first two games, returning to the Sharks with a clear mind, even the unflappable playmaker finds that a difficult task.
“Origin is such a big event and a big occasion it’s hard for it not to be a focus and be something you’re not thinking about constantly,” he told NSWRL.
As for the Roosters last week, Maloney was pleased to put one over a couple of his NSW teammates including halves partner Mitchell Pearce in the comprehensive victory.
“You get a few bragging rights playing mates. To come out and play well was really nice,” Maloney added.
For the full Maloney feature and interview, where he discusses the game next Wednesday, shaping up against Maroons newcomer Cameron Munster and what a series victory would mean, go to the following link – CLICK HERE.