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Gagai focuses on recipe for success

Queensland State of Origin winger Dane Gagai is determined to improve on his performance when the Maroons take on NSW in game two of the series.
Queensland State of Origin winger Dane Gagai is determined to improve on his performance when the Maroons take on NSW in game two of the series. Chris Hyde

RUGBY LEAGUE: The only critic of Dane Gagai's Origin I performance might well be the Maroons winger himself - and he has overhauled his preparation to get it right tomorrow night.

Gagai's numbers were phenomenal in Queensland's loss at Suncorp Stadium three weeks ago.

He ran the ball for a game-high 218 metres, busted 11 tackles and also made 11 tackles from the flank.

It was assessed by many as the latest standout effort in his five-match Origin career but he doesn't see it that way.

"There is still a lot of room for improvement with myself," Gagai said.

"They asked me the question 'was I happy with my game?' and I had to be honest: Not really.

"There was definitely a few moments where I could position myself a bit better and things like that so that is going to be something I am focusing on."

Gagai said achieving such improvement comes down to "everything", rather than just studying video of opposite centre-wing pairing Jarryd Hayne and Brett Morris.

 

Queensland winger Dane Gagai reins in NSW opposite Brett Morris during game one of the State of Origin series.
Queensland winger Dane Gagai reins in NSW opposite Brett Morris during game one of the State of Origin series. DAVE HUNT

"It comes down to diet, preparation, sleep, how you train, video sessions and then putting it into practice," he said.

"Just making sure I am nailing everything on the head (at training) so when we come to the game hopefully it transitions into that."

Among his focuses has been stripping his beloved bread from his diet.

"I love my soup and I love rubbing bread through it so I had to ease back on that a little bit," the Mackay product said.

"I kind of just avoid eating soup because I know I am going to eat a whole heap of bread with it.

"Obviously we don't get to go crazy and eat some of the stuff we would like to but I guess that's part of this job and I just need to make sure I am doing everything right and I can't miss a beat.

"Especially after that first game.

 

Seeing the pace that game was played at and everything, you need to make sure you are prepared the best you can."

 

Queensland declined the chance to pitch Gagai into his preferred position at centre for game two, instead opting for Darius Boyd to slot into the three-quarter line.

Concerns about Gagai's defence are believed to have played a part in the decision but the 26-year-old dismissed that as "just talk".

With five tries in five Origin appearances, Gagai is ready to rumble against Morris once more.

"He's very good defensively and he's obviously got speed and strength too. He's deceivingly strong," he said of Morris.

Gagai will this time have Will Chambers on his inside on the right edge after Justin O'Neill was axed.

Topics:  dane gagai mackay queensland maroons rugby league state of origin 2017

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