Sport

Blues brothers in arms ready to make history

There's plenty of pride in the New South Wales jersey in Coffs Harbour this week.
There's plenty of pride in the New South Wales jersey in Coffs Harbour this week. DAN PELED

WEARING sky blue on rugby league's toughest stage is an honour shared by brothers in arms over 100 games of triumph and defeat.

Preparing to potentially end Queensland's eight-year reign on Wednesday night, the New South Wales Blues have drawn on the history of the jersey and the growing will to win in their week of team talks.

Inspired by the determination not to concede in the 80th minute of Origin Game I, the team has bonded in success in Coffs Harbour, driven by the desire to finish the job on home soil in Sydney.

"Off the field these blokes are as tight as a bunch of blokes can be ... it may sound cliche, but it's true we share that brotherhood," Greg Bird said.

"I think its time we transfer that over to the paddock and bring this title back to New South Wales."

Will Hopoate says the honour of representing in Origin is one deserving of great personal peformance.

"I feel very humbled and excited, I'm just grateful to be part of it," Hopoate said.

"We have been able to create this brotherhood and I've enjoyed being around the boys."

With the team removed from the distractions of Sydney, the Coffs Harbour camps could well be the impetus behind a great turning point in Origin history.

"Coffs Harbour has brought the boys closer together, we are away from all the hype and we have just worried about ourselves and our performance," Trent Hodkinson said.

The players say the team's move north has lifted some of the off-field intensity of the week.

"We are in a different environment and it's a lot more relaxing so when we train we train, we switch on for rugby league and when we are away from that we just enjoy each others company," Aaron Woods said.

With the momentum building in camp the Blues say they are ready.

"I think our approach is going to be better in Game II, we have learnt a lot by going away and focussing and we hope to go out there on our home soil and bring it home," Trent Merrin said.

"We have built that bond that has been going for the last few years and (Coffs Harbour) is just making it stronger and it just proved in Game I how tight we are as a team and to bring that back home is going to be special."

Topics:  camp, coffs harbour, editors picks, nsw blues, state of origin



Cycle Challenge offering an historic ride

The Coffs City Rotary Coffs Coast Cycle Challenge is being held this year on the weekend of August 13 and 14.

'Old' highway the route for this year's Coffs Coast Cycle Challenge

Coffs model is Face of Origin

STUNNING: Tahlia Hall (second left) of Coffs Harbour was named the NSW winner of the Face of Origin 2016.

Coffs beauty is Face of Origin

Turning wine into water during Dry July

DRY JULY: As a participant in this annual fund raiser for cancer patients, Jo Symons has happily swapped alcohol for water.

Turning wine into water during Dry July

Latest deals and offers

Day 2 Splendour Pictures

Sticky Fingers perform at Splendour in the Grass 2016. Photo Marc Stapelberg / The Northern Star

Splendour in the Grass Day 2 covered in pictures.

WATCH: News reader tries her hand at hardcore shooter, Doom

Veteran journo and noob gamer takes a shot at Doom

What's on the small screen this week

MasterChef Australia's final four contestants, from left, Harry Foster, Elena Duggan, Elise Franciskovic and Matt Sinclair.

MASTERCHEF makes way for The Bachelor on Ten's reality TV slate.

Guy Sebastian a hit at Splendour in the Grass

Guy Sebastian performs at Splendour in the Grass with Paces.

REALITY TV judge a hit with festival crowd.

Superheroes of the big screen enjoy sounds of Splendour

CHRIS Hemsworth and his Avengers mates drop by Byron festival.

Dynamic pics from Splendour Day 1

The Strokes perform at Splendour in the Grass 2016. Photo Marc Stapelberg / The Northern Star

Check out the latest pictures from Splendour in the Grass.

You can own this Queensland town for just $1

Yelarbon

Unprecedented auction of town's business centre with no reserve

Work starts on $15M Caloundra apartment building

Turning the first sod at the Aqua View Apartments site in Kings Beach are (from left) husband-and-wife developers Alex Yuan and Stella Sun with construction company Tomkins director Mike Tomkins and Councillor Tim Dwyer.

Developers excited about addition to Kings Beach skyline

Plans revealed for 1500-lot 'master-planned community'

Precinct will be bounded by Boundary St and Shoesmith Rd

Ecco Ripley sales run sparks prime release

MOVING IN: Sekisui House has announced the release of more residential blocks at Ecco Ripley.

Sekisui House is preparing to unveil more land at Ecco Ripley

A home rich in history looking for a new owner

HISTORY: The circa 1920s home is being sold for the first time in 90 years.

Circa 1920s home being sold for the first time in 90 years