Maroons talisman Cameron Munster says he is now fully fit for the State of Origin showdown with the Blues in Brisbane and has vowed to learn from one big mistake he made in the Townsville debacle.
Munster admits he should not have played in the 50-6 drubbing handed out by the Blues after returning to action earlier than anticipated from a foot injury.
The Queensland five-eighth was closer to his brilliant best in the Storm’s 66-16 win over Wests Tigers after two undisciplined showings, and said he had regained his composure and zip.
Munster was put on report for kicking out at opponents – both in Origin I and in the Storm’s win over the Warriors – and received a fine for both infringements. Storm coach Craig Bellamy urged him to “rein in” his impetuous ways and Munster answered the coach’s call. Against the Tigers he was unselfish and steered the Storm around with discipline and composure.
“It is about time,” Munster said after the victory.
“It was good to have a level head tonight after the last couple of weeks from myself haven’t been great. I am very happy with the way I played. I was very composed and back enjoying my footy again.
“The last couple of weeks I haven’t been one hundred per cent fit and probably pushed it (to return from injury) a bit earlier than I expected.
“Momentum is important, so I will go into Game Two confident. My foot is feeling really good. I was fifty/fifty for Game One and not overly confident of playing but I wanted to get kilometres in my legs.
“That’s footy. In hindsight I probably shouldn’t have played but that is just the competitor I am. I wanted to play, but I will make sure I am eighty to ninety per cent better this week. My foot has pulled up really great and I can’t wait to play on Sunday, if I get picked.”
Munster was a match winner for the Maroons in the first Origin clash in Adelaide last year and again in the decider in Brisbane, after he was knocked out in Game Two in Sydney in the opening minutes.
He was Queensland’s general in last year’s series with the way he led from the front. He said his own formula to achieve team success for the Maroons was simple, so long as he enacted it.
“Hands on the ball. Run the ball. When I am getting my hands on the ball I am still in the game,” he said.
“Obviously Chez (Daly Cherry-Evans) is a really good ballplayer and general but I can hover around whenever he has got the ball.
“I was pretty busy (against the Tigers). Even when I didn’t have the ball in my hands I was still looking around and trying to get my hands on it. I was more active than I usually am and that is what I need to do on Sunday.”
Munster is a key member of a Queensland spine that must take charge at Suncorp Stadium. He said there was a lot of improvement to come from his partnership with hooker Harry Grant.
“Harry is a freaky talent coming out of dummy-half. I’ve just got to let him run, pick the options and play off the back of him,” Munster said.
“I know he is a dominant ball runner and that is my game as well … running the ball and hitting holes. I need to make sure I am pushing up with him and not just ball watching.
“I did that in Game One, but I need to be an option for him.”
The Maroons came back from a Game Two thrashing last year to win the series and Munster said they could do the same in Brisbane.
“It was very disappointing what happened in Townsville but you can’t change that. That is just what happened. We obviously turned up very poor and all we can do is turn up and make amends at Suncorp,” Munster said.
“We are very strong at Suncorp. If we can’t win at Suncorp, we can’t win anywhere. We have to pull our sleeves up. The crowd is not going to get us home. Obviously they are going to be nice and vocal for us but we need to go out and run harder and tackle harder.”