Pearce says there's no secret ingredient to success
THERE'S no doubt the young Blues are cooking up something special, and if the likes of James Tedesco, Andrew Fifita and Josh Jackson are the ingredients, then Mitchell Pearce is the chef.
Sitting on a couch at the Blues' camp at Kingscliff, the NSW halfback was relaxed and confident as he looked forward to the game three decider.
Lamenting a second-half fade-out in game two that gave Queensland a win off the boot of long-term Blues antagonist Johnathan Thurston, Pearce said all the ingredients were there, they just needed to find a way to serve it up to the Maroons.
"We're here to win the game on our terms," Pearce said. "We know what the recipe is for us to win, and what we believe we can beat Queensland with. We learned our lesson after game two."
Pearce, 28, now firmly entrenched in the Blues jersey and a senior figure in the team despite some past indiscretions, looks every bit the star NSW needs to direct the side around the field.
He said his side needed to return to its aggressive ways.
"We stopped being the hunters in the second half (of game two) in attack and defence, which we'd done so well at the start of the series," Pearce said.
"If you stop hunting in games against quality players it's all about momentum. You've got to take the game to Queensland.
"It is something they're renowned for - taking it to us. We stopped playing footy and tried to hold on to the win and that didn't help the result.
"I think it was more a mentality thing than skill-based, and I take responsibility for part of that as a halfback."
Pearce refused to be drawn into hitting back at NSW legend Andrew Johns, who was scathing of the Blues' second-half performance in game two, after the side blew a 10-point half-time lead.
While Johns labelled it the "dumbest half of football" the Blues had played, Pearce said there was no issue with the former star.
"I didn't take it too much to heart. Joey (Johns) saw it for what it was," he said. "Joey's just a passionate NSW fan. He saw it for how he saw it. At the end of the day, Joey was right, we did play a bit dumb."
Pearce said no secret ingredient was needed for a final reveal.
"Sometimes it's pretty simple what (you) need to do," he said. "It's not like we're going to go searching for answers or to find a magical box somewhere.
"We know what we need to do. We've got a great team, and we need to get the best out of our individuals because there's a lot of class."