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The “major mistake” at selection which could’ve cost Blues Origin III


New South Wales have been forced to ask themselves if they made mistakes at the selection table after losing Origin III to Queensland in Brisbane on Wednesday night.

Entering the game as hot favourites, the Blues opted to pick and stick with a similar team that got the job done in Origin II, leaving Jack Wighton out of the starting 17 despite him being the state’s best player in the series opener.

Wighton lost his spot in the side due to health and safety protocols ahead of Game II, and The Daily Telegraph’s Michael Carayannis believes the Raider not receiving his spot back was a “major mistake” from NSW selectors.

“What an epic battle last night,” Carayannis said on SEN 1170 Breakfast.

“When we reflect on last night’s performance, you’ve got to say that leaving Jack Wighton out was a major mistake.

“We saw it last night, Stephen Crichton didn’t perform to the way we expected him to.

“He was probably the player most under the microscope leading into the match last night.

“I think having the steady hand of Jack Wighton on that edge would’ve helped the Blues last night.”

While Carayannis was critical of the Wighton omission, he did praise selectors for backing in debutant Jacob Saifiti after his inclusion was also questioned.

“They got the call of Jacob Saifiti right,” Carayannis said.

“I know he made that one error with the play-the-ball, but he was outstanding for New South Wales.

“I just think it was a glaring mistake to have Jack Wighton watching from the sidelines.”

New South Wales have now lost two of the last three Origin series despite being favourites in every series under Brad Fittler.

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