Storm trooper backs Maroons forwards
SECOND-rower Felise Kaufusi has declared the Maroons forward pack capable of 'bowling over' New South Wales in Origin I on Wednesday night.
While there have been question marks over the new set-up, the Melbourne Storm premiership player has confidence they can follow in the footsteps of past greats such as Shane Webcke, Petero Civoniceva, Cameron Smith and Matt Scott under the Suncorp Stadium spotlight.
"I think you guys will see how good our forward pack is," he said. "They've been picked for a reason, and I've got the utmost confidence that we'll be able to bowl them (the Blues) over."
Kaufusi said the presence of Origin rookie trio David Fifita, Joe Ofahengaue and Moses Mbye had added to the squad's excitement during Maroons camp.
"It's pretty exciting with the debutants coming through. I know exactly what they're going through from my first series last year," Kaufusi said.
"They've got to embrace it.
"They've got a lot of energy around them so that's exciting to have around the group as well.
"This is a new day and age and I'm looking forward to Wednesday night. I'm very excited to see them go into battle."
Asked about the presence of Civoniceva along the Davies Park sidelines, Kaufusi's eyes light up as he ponders the influence of the 33-gamer's mentoring role.
"(Civoniceva is) there all camp as well, so we can lean on him if we want to. Just having him there, his experience, 30-plus games of Origin ... I don't think you can get that anywhere," Kaufusi said.
Sustained success at club level has not been a luxury for the entire Maroons squad this year, but 27-year-old Kaufusi believes the strong form he and Storm teammates Cameron Munster and Will Chambers have enjoyed so far has been a boost for the entire Queensland camp.
"It definitely does carry over," he said.
"Having that success at club land is massive for us, it builds on confidence, and then being able to bring that confidence into the Origin arena and bring the boys up with us.
"We're about winning, Queensland's about winning and we accept nothing less."