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Former Blues enforcer says Game II showed NSW "finally get" Origin


New South Wales legend and former enforcer Steve ‘Blocker’ Roach believes Angus Crichton’s fend-off of Queensland’s Reuben Cotter in Game II was a “turning point” in Origin for the Blues as they prepare to win just their third series decider at Suncorp Stadium.

The Blues forward pack dominated the Maroons in the 38-18 win at the MCG with many experts saying Queensland were bullied in the loss.

But Roach, who played 17 Origins for NSW, said the way Michael Maguire’s forwards went about it in Game II was a message that the Blues wouldn’t be bullied anymore.

“What I will say is and I’ve said it to the NSW boys, we play in this pristine competition where you can’t get away with anything, Origin is a different game,” he said on Mornings SENQ.

“I think in Origin II when I saw Angus Crichton grab one of the Queenslanders by the throat, the first thing I thought is we finally get it.

“We’re not playing in this pristine competition anymore, this is Origin and I thought the shock on the Queenslanders face too, Reuben Cotter it was, the shock on his face he probably didn’t expect that.

“For me that was a pivotal moment and a turning point in Origin for us anyway.

“Now Queensland get it, they always had that, and rightfully so, they’ve always had the niggle, they’ve always got offside of the ruck, they did what you had to do to win.”

As the Blues face the daunting task of winning the decider at Suncorp for the first time since 2005, Roach said NSW have the players they need to overcome the challenge of playing in front of 52,000 Maroons fans.

“I think we now after watching that second game, we’ve got some mongrels in our pack now that won’t take no for an answer… to me that (in Game II) made a statement that we ain’t going to be bullied no more,” he said.

Game II is at Suncorp Stadium on July 17.

New South Wales Rugby League

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