Home > The Final Word > Inside the Origin camp – Day 4

Inside the Origin camp – Day 4

Once again, sorry for the delay, both Adrian and I have been quite busy, but I’ll try to finish these off now, even if they are a little less detailed.

The day before a game is often quiet, but even moreso when leading into a representative game. There was no really early start, with training at 11, and finally we would get a sight of the ground they were to play on. I had a late wake-up after not much sleep, and just made the bus to get to the ground.

City were training before us, and were still there when we arrived. Brad Fittler and Robbie Farah were doing their pre-game media stuff, and after the captains were done with the joint shield photos, the Country boys got down to business. This was, of course, despite some ‘friendly’ banter between the two sides, but it was all in the spirit of the occasion.

Country looked particularly good in their final field session, with a good intensity, and some quality kicking coming from Sowie and Jarrod. Once Laurie and Gifty did their media at the end of the session, the goal-kickers had a quick practice, and the rest of the squad had a sideline field goal competition. Despite some impressive showings from TLL, and Mezz, Duges and Choc were the standouts.

But whilst this was happening, there were some interesting goal-kicking efforts from Sowie and Flash. Totalling up their efforts, the success rate would be not higher than 40%, which even in training was amazingly low for two of the best sharpshooters in the comp. Luckily it didn’t turn out that way on the night!!The boys had ice-baths at the ground, and the rest of us waited around. Once back at the hotel, we had the afternoon off after lunch, and with some free time, and being still quite tired, I decided to catch up on some sleep.

Dinner time arrived quite quickly, and that meant it was jersey presentation time! It was great to have the whole squad and staff, as well as the board and some sponsors all together the night before the game, and I think that, along with the stirring speech from Chris Mortimer, really helped the team relax and be mentally ready for the game. Mortimer spoke of his own experiences growing up in the country, and how football, and representing Country, really gave him a lift. His final words of ‘don’t forget where you came from’ may not have resonated with me as much as some of the people from the country, but it still started the chills.

I was lucky enough to be presented with a signed jersey myself, and it will definately rank as a highlight of my short life so far. Everyone went off quickly after dinner to rest up, and the staff re-located to the downstairs bar for a few quiet ones with the special guests, one of whom was NSW coach Ricky Stuart.

One quick side-note, I had never met Ricky, and seen plenty written both for and against him, so never made up my mind. I was introduced quickly to him when he joined us for dinner, and before leaving, he made a point of coming to each of us staff and personally saying goodbye, and even remembered our names. I left thouroughly impressed by him as a person, and I think it is rubbing off on the NSW side already.

Anyway, no late nights this time, and we were all off to bed quite early. I did get a quick glimpse of Blocker on The Game Plan, and he seemed quite confident, which did instill some confidence in me. Thats all from Day 4 – Game Day will be up in no time!

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