Injury Won't Force Maloney Out of Origin
NSW five-eighth James Maloney won't let a back injury stop him from directing the Brydens Lawyers NSW Blues around the park in Sunday night's State of Origin II at ANZ Stadium.
Maloney was cleared by medical staff once he settled into camp on Sunday after suffering a back injury in the first 10 minutes of their round-15 clash against the Roosters on Friday night.
The 32-year-old playmaker didn't participate in the team's first training session on Monday but got through a full field session with the squad on Tuesday morning.
Maloney said he would continue to receive treatment for the injury in the lead-up to Sunday's match, and when NSW is put through a contact session at the end of the week he won't be sitting it out.
"My back is all right now," Maloney said.
"I'll just need to keep getting it treated and it should be fine.
"I'm not sure what the plan is around doing contact, we might do some on Thursday but if there's contact to be done I'll be able to do it."
Despite the Brydens Lawyers NSW Blues' 22-12 win in game one, Maloney said the coaching staff and senior players had stressed the need to step up to another level to come away with a victory in game two.
"Between Freddy and everyone we've just sort of tried to explain to the boys that we're all going to have to be better," Maloney said.
"If we play the same way we did in game one it won't be good enough."
NSW is going into game two under similar circumstances to last year when they defeated Queensland 28-4 in game one but dropped off in game two to go down 18-16, eventually losing the series in game three in Brisbane.
Maloney said his side needed to maintain their aggression in attack after taking their foot off the pedal in the corresponding game last year.
"I think we need to play a little bit more footy," he said.
"They probably got on top of us at different stages so we need to throw more at them and keep going after them for the 80 minutes.
"I think we sort of fell off that last year in game two, we probably went at them for the first half and had a good lead then threw away so it will be important for us just playing footy and keep on going at them for the entire game.
"Defensively, the fact they didn't run through us to score any tries [in game one] was pleasing but they'll ask more questions of us this time so it will be a bigger challenge, but hopefully defensively we can be really good again."