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Murray Wenzel

Smith fingerprints on Maroons' Origin push

Queensland's State of Origin team have been soaking up tips and advice from Cameron Smith (pic). (AAP)

In Harry Grant, Queensland have ensured the ghost of Cameron Smith continues to haunt NSW as they look to seal the State of Origin series in Perth.

The Melbourne hooker was a key factor in the Maroons' upset win in Game I in Sydney, deployed off the bench early in the first half in a relentless one-two punch alongside fellow Rockhampton product Ben Hunt.

Coach Billy Slater told a public press conference in the Perth CBD on Saturday there would be no late tinkering with his starting side and Grant would play a similar role at Optus Stadium on Sunday.

His tag team with Hunt helped the Maroons control the ruck and left rival Brad Fittler searching for an answer he hopes he's found by adding Api Koroisau to form NSW's own one-two punch with Damien Cook.

There can be no ignoring the role of Smith though, Slater's assistant and former Queensland captain who expertly pushed the boundaries to torment NSW during a record 42 Origin appearances.

"He was huge, and Billy, what they've done for a lot of the younger players at the Storm and now at Origin camp, very special," Grant said.

"It's a different brand of footy that they've played a lot of, so to have them so accessible to pick their brains, it's great for us.

"They're so out there, easy to get along with and give the information you need and ask for."

Slater laughed off suggestions Smith had been in the officials' ears ahead of Game II after reports NSW had issued a please explain that focused on their tactics around the ruck in Sydney.

The coach said he, or Smith as far as he knew, hadn't probed the officials on how they'll adjudicate the ruck but that he expects both teams' playmakers to be targeted.

"That's part of the game; we have to play within the rules and I watch every game (of NRL) pretty much and you see that every game," he said.

"Our kicker gets attention too; it's part of the game."

Slater said Grant was again set to see early minutes in Perth but that his bench strategy that saw veteran prop Josh Papalii play just 20 minutes would change thanks to injured Reuben Cotter's absence.

"Definitely; he (Cotter) brought a lot and was a big part of what happened," Slater said.

"You've got to rethink the way you use your bench when you have a guy that played 80 like he did."

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