NSW hope two final training sessions on traditional AFL and cricket grounds help prepare them for the oval shape of the MCG on Wednesday night.
The Blues wrapped up training in Sydney on Sunday at the SCG before flying to Melbourne, a ploy by coach Brad Fittler to help players assimilate to the different shape of the ground.
Like Queensland, they will then have than final captain’s run on the MCG on Tuesday as they finalise preparations for the series opener.
Fittler himself played on the MCG twice for the Blues, and is well aware of the difficulties it can present for halves and to a lesser extent wingers in terms of spatial awareness and fielding kicks.
Just two NSW players have run out on the ground before in the 2015 series, but they were Boyd Cordner and David Klemmer who are largely unaffected.
Crucially, there are no true ovals used in the NRL, with matches moved to regional areas usually the only games played on such grounds.
NSW also used Coogee Oval as a training base over the first week of the camp, but the set up of the ground with fences made for much more of a rectangular feel.
Blues winger Josh Addo-Carr said he’d noticed a difference training on the SCG on Sunday.
“It’s the same kind of field isn’t it? It was real open and it felt real empty,” he said.
“Everyone has their preparations and does their extras.
“Running out at the MCG, I can’t wait to experience 90,000-plus. I’m looking forward to it.”
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