Queensland Maroons Training Session
Queensland Maroons Training Session

Why Perth defeat cut deeper for Ofahengaue

Maroons enforcer Joe Ofahengaue is more desperate than most to atone for Queensland's Origin II defeat after he was forced to watch on from home.

The 23-year-old was forced to sit out Queensland's 38-6 loss at Optus Stadium through injury but admitted he was as spurred on as his teammates to exact revenge in Sydney.

The Brisbane Bronco has come back from a gruelling cut to his right knee to be fit and ready for the decider and faces one of the biggest games of his embryonic rugby league career.

Even though Queensland face their first consecutive series loss since 2005, Ofahengaue said the pressure was all on NSW.

"We've got a really good opportunity to go out there and prove everyone wrong," Ofahengaue said.

Ofahengaue made his debut in Origin I. Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images.
Ofahengaue made his debut in Origin I. Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images.

"All the stress will be on them, not us, because everyone's running our team down and we lost Ponga.

"We're more focused on how we prepare and I just hope we turn up for the night."

The Maroons began preparations for Game Three yesterday as they went into their first training session at Langlands Park.

Despite sitting out of Game Two, Ofahengaue said the humiliating defeat was motivation for Queensland to redeem themselves next week.

"If Game Two didn't motivate any of us, we shouldn't be here," he said.

"We have to go out there and prove to each other we can be that team we were in Game One and play some good footy.

"We just have to get back to our own routines. We just have to turn up for each other because that's what Origin's about.

Ofahenague returns as starting prop. Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images.
Ofahenague returns as starting prop. Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images.

"I've watched Origin all my life and just to see how Queensland play, they all turn up for each other."

Ofahengaue was forced to sit at home with his right knee wrapped in a heat pack as he watched his Origin teammates get comprehensively beaten in Perth.

"I was bummed," he said of missing Game Two through injury.

"It was more just that I felt guilty I wasn't there with my mates.

"We created a mad bond in Game One and set some standards for us.

"The boys have been honest and said they didn't live up to what we spoke about in Game One.

"The best thing about it is we're in a new camp and a new team."