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Brave Tate leaves Origin on own terms

Straight away, Brent Tate feared the worst.
Brave Tate leaves Origin on own terms
by AAP

By Laine Clark and Ben Horne

SYDNEY, June 19 AAP - Straight away, Brent Tate feared the worst.

Still, the Queensland veteran winger bravely refused to be taken off on a medicab despite suffering a career-threatening fourth serious knee injury.

The way Tate saw it, if this was potentially his last game, he was going to leave on his terms.

"He was in a lot of pain. But he didn't want the medicab," Queensland doctor Roy Saunders said.

The heartache over NSW ending the Maroons' record eight-year State of Origin reign in game two on Wednesday night was put into perspective for teammates after seeing a distraught Tate in the post-match sheds.

Unimpressed by Blues supporters booing Tate as he was helped from the field after falling awkwardly in a second-half tackle, Queensland teammates were further shattered when it appeared their worst fears were confirmed.

"It's definitely my ACL. I'm gutted," Tate told News Corp on Thursday.

Tate, 32, will consider his future when he returns to his North Queensland NRL club, where he is contracted until the end of 2015.

"Already with three reconstructions behind him, Tate is certain the news will not be good again," a Cowboys spokesman said of Tate's Thursday afternoon scans.

On a nightmare night for the Cowboys, they have also lost prop Matt Scott (facial fracture) who remained in Sydney on Thursday.

"Its likely he will have surgery today or tomorrow and won't be available for the third Origin," the Cowboys spokesman said.

But watching Tate make the brave call to knock back the medicab and endure the painful off-field journey convinced some teammates that he could make yet another comeback.

"That summed up the guy's character," Queensland forward Nate Myles said.

NSW and Cowboys prop James Tamou added: "I hope that's not his last. I think he'll come back and I hope he comes back."

The last time Tate damaged his ACL was in the 2010 Four Nations final when he was captured by TV cameras in the Suncorp Stadium sheds crying uncontrollably.

He defied the odds again to reclaim his Queensland and Test spot and was in such fine form he had re-signed to play on in 2015 for North Queensland.

Tate had a target on his back in Origin II after earning the ire of NSW fans by criticising Josh Reynolds' game one dangerous throw.

The veteran - who also has a history of neck problems - revealed he had "never been more frightened in my life" during the lifting tackle in the wake of Alex McKinnon's career-ending injury.

But it was seen by the Blues' faithful as a ploy to ensure Reynolds received a lengthy suspension for the tackle.

"He has copped a lot of flak over the last week. It's disappointing for Tatey," Myles said of the veteran being booed off the field.

Queensland's mounting injury list for the series already included Cooper Cronk (broken arm), Josh Papalii (ankle) and Corey Parker (facial fracture).

And Daly Cherry-Evans (knee), Greg Inglis (ankle) and Billy Slater (shoulder) only played on Wednesday night after late fitness tests.




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