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I didn't deserve Origin spot: Thaiday

It's of little comfort to NSW pivot James Maloney but Sam Thaiday has declared his form didn't merit Queensland State of Origin selection this year and reputation alone got him in.
I didn't deserve Origin spot: Thaiday
by AAP

By Laine Clark

COOLUM, Qld July 14 AAP - It's of little comfort to NSW pivot James Maloney but Sam Thaiday has declared his form didn't merit Queensland State of Origin selection this year and reputation alone got him in.

Thaiday admitted on Sunday he had a point to prove by Origin game two after underwhelming form for his battling NRL side Brisbane but few would have predicted his explosive display.

Maloney was bulldozed aside from the outset as Thaiday cleared a path for Queensland's stunning 26-6 win in Brisbane to level the series going into Wednesday's decider.

"It was more of a personal thing for me," said Thaiday, a veteran of 19 Origin games.

"I came from a team that was not very successful this year and was probably picked in that first game on past performances for Queensland.

"I don't think my form was good enough to be selected in the side."

Thaiday was a man possessed in game two, running at Maloney three times in the first two minutes, resulting in an early try for the backrower to leave NSW - and their pivot - shellshocked.

Queensland captain Cameron Smith believed Thaiday's 49-minute performance "answered a few critics".

But Thaiday said: "I wasn't trying to prove anything to anyone but myself. I just wanted to get out there and play a part.

"I think I did three hit-ups in two minutes, no wonder I was buggered.

"But we needed to get a good start to really get us on the front foot.

"I didn't play as much as I would have liked in that second half especially after I felt I was going really well at the start.

"But I have a chance in this third game to do a job again."

Thaiday's onslaught reportedly has the Blues contemplating starting Greg Bird at five-eighth in Origin III.

Asked if Maloney could expect more traffic in Wednesday night's Origin decider in Sydney, Thaiday laughed: "I think I have gotten smarter over the years and Maloney is a lot smaller than some of their forwards.

"I would rather run at him all day than (Ryan) Hoffman or (Andrew) Fifita.

"I am trying to preserve my body as much as I can."

After proving a point in game two, Thaiday, 28, feared NSW forward James Tamou could do the same in the decider at ANZ Stadium.

Dropped from the Blues' game two outfit due to a drink driving charge, Tamou is the man in the Queensland forward pack's sights ahead of Origin III following the withdrawal of NSW skipper Paul Gallen.

Especially after Tamou also revealed recently that he did not think his form had warranted an Origin I nod.

""I don't think it (Tamou's form) has been that bad," Thaiday said.

"He is being pretty harsh on himself.

"He was very good last year, almost unstoppable. It was his breakout year last year.

"(But) he's got a huge point to prove. He's admitted he let the NSW team down.

"He's another player we have earmarked as a 'go to' guy for NSW now their skipper (Gallen) is out."

Queensland will ramp up their Origin countdown by moving out of their Sunshine Coast camp and flying down to Sydney on Sunday.




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