Murray vows control in early tackles for health's sake

·2-min read
Dan Himbrechts/AAP PHOTOS

Cameron Murray won't allow himself to buy into the hype of making a big first impact off the bench for NSW in State of Origin.

Not because he doesn't want to, but simply because he knows that for the sake of his own health and his Blues teammates he can't afford to.

Knocked out making his first tackle on a rampaging Corey Oates in last year's decider, Murray was forced to watch on as NSW surrendered the Shield at Suncorp Stadium.

It was one of three concussions suffered by Murray in the past two-and-a-half years, with all coming in similar circumstances.

The South Sydney star copped a head knock making his first tackle in Game I of 2020, ruling him out of the rest of that series and removing him from the Blues COVID bubble.

And it was his first tackle of the game again in last year's much-hyped Allianz Stadium opener playing for the Rabbitohs that the lock was last felled.

Murray has long been of the view that his problems are not technical ones, but he will make a point of shifting his mindset for Game I at Adelaide Oval on Wednesday.

"I probably learned more from sitting on the sideline in those games," Murray told AAP.

"I learned just to be a bit smarter around my decision-making, particularly in defence and in particular at the start of the game.

"Just to not get myself in those positions. Because I not only like let myself and my health down, but I let the team down as well."

Murray said his solution was simple: he had to be more measured early on.

"It's just being smart and not being reckless," Murray said.

"You want to bring a lot of energy and you want to be aggressive. But you also don't want to go overboard and find myself in those positions.

"It's just about being smart and harnessing that energy and hype of Origin in the right way. Being smart about it and using your head.

"It was such a helpless hurt I felt last year but a lot of lessons were learned."

Murray will come off the bench for the Blues in Adelaide this year, and is expected to play through the middle once he enters the contest.

That would require either he or Isaah Yeo to play in a traditional middle front-rower style if on the field together, given both are traditionally ball-playing locks at club level.

"One of us has to kind of nominate that ball-playing middle roll, because we both can't play it," Murray said.

"It over-complicates it a little bit ... It's probably a little bit easier to just simplify it and just nominate one of us to be that type of player and the other play as a normal middle."