NSW media turns on Maroons ahead of State of Origin opener

THE Sydney media, in particular the Daily Telegraph, have stuck it to Queensland coach Mal Meninga and Maroon's skipper Cameron Smith as the clock winds down to tomorrow night's opening State of Origin clash.

The morning newspaper's back page on Monday  carried a picture of Meninga -- who has requested a meeting with referees' boss Tony Archer  today - dressed only in a baby bonnet and nappy with a dummy along with the words: "I want my reffie".

They followed it up today with a picture of Cameron Smith accompanied by the headline "Sham Smith" and claims by former NSW hooker Benny Elias who calls him rugby league's "greatest con artist.

Underneath a series of pictures depicting Smith using a grapple tackle, a choke hold and more recently lashing out with his feet and kicking South Sydney hooker Issac Luke in the head is the sub heading: "Reavealed: Ugly truth at Maroons' Mr Nice Guy".

Elias says Smith is the Blues' biggest danger because he can "absolutely control" referees.

It's all part of Origin theatre which is the greatest rugby league show on earth.

Bookmakers meanwhile report heavy support for Queensland with a steady flow of bets for NSW.

The clash at ANZ Stadium is tipped to be played in fine, cool conditions with only a few thousand tickets not sold.

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