Bring on the hate, Klemmer tells Queensland
AGGRESSIVE forward David Klemmer welcomes the prospect of a packed Suncorp Stadium crowd erupting in a chorus of boos on Wednesday night to greet him and his NSW teammates.
Klemmer loves being the Blue who Queenslanders love to hate. He thrives on it, in fact.
"Oh definitely," the 23-year-old said when asked if the jeers of Maroons fans got his heart racing.
"It pumps you up when you run out. There's 50-odd thousand people booing you and hating you.
"They want you to lose so you want to prove them wrong. It gets you going."
It's an approach perhaps adopted from growing up in western Sydney as a NSW fan watching his heroes. Enforcers Luke O'Donnell and Mark O'Meley led his list of favourite players.
"Watching those blokes was pretty special," he said.
"They are the blokes I looked up to as a kid and I just like the style they played. They represented NSW really well. I am just trying to do what they did."
So much does the sky blue jersey mean to Klemmer that he remembers crystal clear the day he was selected for his first state side, NSW Combined High Schools, at age 15.
The Bulldogs prop now looms as a key man to spark the Blues to the rare Origin feat of conquering Brisbane's Suncorp Stadium twice in one year. Doing so would seal his maiden series victory and his state's first since 2014.
No forward has come remotely close to Klemmer's 358 running metres across the opening two matches of the series, despite him starting on the bench on both occasions.
Blues captain Boyd Cordner is next with 280m. Dylan Napa tops the Maroons pack with 232m.
Klemmer said losing game two cut deep, especially given they were in the box seat to wrap up the series in front of their home fans.
"We did some good things in game one, and in game two we did some dumb things," he said.
"We know they are going to be defending their title and up there it will be a tough game for us.
"We have just got to come together, it's us against them and 50-odd thousand people against us.
"It's going to be a big ask but we are more than capable with this group of players here in getting the result."