Keep it simple, Smith tells Taylor
QUEENSLAND captain Cameron Smith has urged newly-promoted back-rower Dave Taylor to keep it simple when he makes his run-on debut in tomorrow's State of Origin confrontation in Sydney.
For a 122kg, 188cm juggernaut, Taylor is surprisingly agile and unpredictable but Smith believes the 23-year-old should only dig into his bag of tricks if absolutely necessary.
"He's the biggest person I've ever come up against but he's got the athletic ability of an outside back," he said. "Probably the closest bloke you could get to him is Greg Inglis, who is a freak of nature.
"It's unbelievable; you look at him (Taylor) and you would think he'd just take the ball and run....but he can throw cut-out passes, put grubbers in for himself or his team-mates, do chip kicks and do 40-20s - the lot.
"But for us, we don't need him to do all those things.
"We just need him to be nice and strong and carry the ball as hard as he can and whenever people run at him make sure he knocks them over.
"I think he knows that Origin is not about the flash plays and the big plays, it's about working hard for your team-mates and doing your job for the team....but I guess if push comes to shove we could probably look to Dave for a couple of those plays."
After five games for Queensland off the bench, Souths enforcer Taylor was promoted into the Maroons starting side on Friday, when inspirational second-rower Sam Thaiday was ruled out with a shoulder injury.
And Smith believes the 'Coal Train' could be even more dangerous in the opening exchanges of a State of Origin contest.
"It may be a good thing for the big fella to get straight out there and run and tackle hard," he said. "That's what he needs to do because he's the biggest person on the ground. He needs to go out and start with an aggressive mindset and play like he does for the Rabbitohs....he just needs to do it a bit faster."
The Queensland squad arrives in enemy territory today as underdogs with bookmakers, despite winning the first game of the three-match series in Melbourne last month
"That's the punters' point of view and if anything that probably shifts the pressure back on to the Blues," Smith said. "They are favourites now and they need to win."
Smith said New South Wales should be feeling the strain as it attempts to stem a record-breaking run of Queensland domination.
"Forget about seven straight (series) losses, just losing a series is bad enough.
"I've lost game one before and had to play in game two where you need to win and it's a really tough thing to do. You're under a lot of pressure."
Smith also shrugged off recent claims made by Blues coach Ricky Stuart that Queensland was smug.
"It's water off a duck's back for me because I know it's not true," he said. "We know what we're about and we know what we believe in and we can't let this distract us."