NSW players have been told to ignore baiting from their Queensland rivals on Wednesday night to ensure they don’t get sin-binned and damage the team’s chances of ending seven years of Origin disappointment.

With the Blues on the verge of their first Origin series win since 2005, it was fitting that former coach Ricky Stuart was invited by his successor Laurie Daley to present the players with their jerseys on Tuesday night.

Stuart had taken the team to within an ace of winning last year’s series but the NSW campaign was derailed by refereeing controversies and the sin-binning of centre Michael Jennings in Origin I.

This time the Blues don’t want to leave anything to chance and the players have been reminded of the need to remain disciplined after four under-20s players were last weekend sent off or sin-binned and banned for a total of 14 matches over a brawl at Campbelltown.

The tough action followed an edict to referees to sin bin any player who throws a punch after NSW captain Paul Gallen was not even placed on report for the two blows he landed on Nate Myles in the series opener.

While they defended Gallen after the 14-6 win at ANZ Stadium, NSW officials privately concede he could have cost them the match if he had been sin-binned for reacting to niggling tactics by Myles.

The Blues skipper said on Tuesday that all players were aware of the consequences of fighting and he would not take such a risk in Origin II at Suncorp Stadium.

”I am not concerned with fighting, I am concerned about winning a game of football,” Gallen said.

”I think it’s pretty obvious that if you have a fight you get sin-binned.

”Things like that happen on the field sometimes but now players know what the consequences can be, I think we’ll bite our tongues a bit more. I do think it will be a deterrent.”

However, Gallen conceded the crackdown on violence made it more tempting for players to try to bait opponents with niggling tactics, such as those he accused Myles of in Origin I. The Maroons forward did not retaliate after being punched twice by Gallen, who accused Myles of a knee twist and leading with his head in a tackle on Jarryd Hayne earlier in the match.

”Players get away with things all the time on the field,” Gallen said. ”We’ve seen that, we’ve spoken about that.

”If anything illegal happens out there and you don’t get caught for it then good luck to you, but as far as the fighting goes I think if there is a fight players will get sin-binned.

”I think there will still be players in the heat of the moment where things will happen. It’s a game for grown men and sometimes in the heat of the battle it’s hard to hold your nerve. I don’t think it will be the end of it, but I think you’ll find some players hold their fists back. There was a pretty big fight in the under 20s and we’ve seen there is going to be pretty big suspensions dealt out to anyone who gets involved.”

Gallen was the subject of allegations about his tactics in Origin I but the NSW front-rower said he would not change his style.

”I’ve never said I’m an angel, that’s for sure,” he said. ”But it’s not about me, it’s one thing we said at the start of this series, it’s not about individuals. It’s about the result for the team and that’s all I’m worried about – getting the result up here.”

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Hangzhou Night Net.

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