It can be argued there is no tougher trip in the NRL, than heading down south to take on the Melbourne Storm at AAMI Park.
Normally an exciting weekend holiday destination, there will be no sipping lattes in street art filled laneways on Sunday as the Tricolours take on the most consistent team over the course of the past decade.
The secret to that success is no surprise, an almighty spine of players spearheaded by hooker and captain Cameron Smith.
Luckily we have a handy number nine of our own.
Jake Friend had a breakout season in 2013 and he has backed it up with some ruthless performances so far this season, so much so that he was included in an extended Queensland squad as a backup for Smith in Origin 1.
The feisty youngster from Noosa whilst happy to wait in the shadows for now, is determined to prove he can deliver on the representative stage.
“I would love to play in Origin it is a dream of mine but for now Cam is the best going around,” Friend said.
“I’m just happy to be in the mix and wait my time and if I get a run I get a run.”
What better way to stake your future claims than by getting a win over Smith and the Storm this weekend.
Heading into the clash, both players have had a great start to season 2014.
Jake Friend currently sits 3rd in the NRL for tackles made with 552 with Smith at 438. The Tricolours dummy half also leads in the ‘receives’ category whilst Smith dominates in metres made and dummy half runs.
Smith will head in to the clash with the Roosters, having last week played two games in four days, seemingly carrying a niggling ankle injury aggravated during Origin and Friend says that is just a testament to the type of player he is.
“Last week just showed how professional he is and that obviously he is a great player.”
Both players undoubtedly play a crucial role in both the attacking and defensive structures of their teams and with a bit of extra pride on the line with the top dog taking on his nearest challenger don’t be surprised to see that bit of extra effort on Sunday.