NSW back-rower Anthony Watmough has revealed part of the Blues' game plan to beat Queensland was targeting Nate Myles in Wednesday's State of Origin league opener.
Myles and NSW skipper Paul Gallen were involved in the biggest flashpoint of the Blues' 14-6 win at ANZ Stadium in Sydney just before halftime when Gallen belted the Queensland second-rower with a series of punches. Gallen was slugged with a grade-two striking charge after the game and will sit out one NRL match after submitting an early guilty plea yesterday.
Myles won last year's Wally Lewis Medal, awarded to Queensland's player of the series, and Watmough said the Blues had allowed themselves to be dominated by the Gold Coast star in the past.
"We got bullied by Nate Myles last year - the boys won't take a backward step," said Watmough.
"He's their forward leader. We made a mission not to be bullied by him again.
"We've been bullied too long. We weren't going to let that happen again."
Watmough's comments were backed up by hooker Robbie Farah who said Gallen's actions reinforced the feeling among the squad.
"Our skipper led by example and it got a bit heated out there," Farah said.
"But we stand together as a team. We're a solid group here and have come together real well over the last 10 days."
Watmough saluted the Blues debutants who played a part in a first series opener win since 2008.
Blake Ferguson, Andrew Fifita and James Maloney enjoyed strong debuts although Josh Reynolds became the first NSW player to not come off the bench since Ken McGuinness in 1998.
"It's tough for Josh, but he's very much part of this team," Watmough said.
"I am sure he will get a run in game two.
"The other guys were outstanding. Jimmy Maloney was great running the ball and Fifita was just amazing the way he got up the middle.
"It's going [to be] a big ask up there to win in game two and we're going to have to play even better to win."