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McManus hoping to stay a Blue

James McManus is hoping his try-scoring performance for NSW in Wednesday's 12-10 State of Origin defeat by Queensland will be enough to keep him in the side for next year's series.
McManus hoping to stay a Blue
by AAP

By Ian McCullough

SYDNEY, July 18 AAP - James McManus is hoping his try-scoring performance for NSW in Wednesday's 12-10 State of Origin defeat by Queensland will be enough to keep him in the side for next year's series.

The Scottish-born Newcastle winger made an impressive return to the Origin arena five years after making his debut and felt his second appearance was a huge improvement on his first - but said it did little to make up for another gut-wrenching defeat at the hands of the Maroons.

"I am shattered. To lose by two points having put so much into the week is really hard," McManus said.

"It was a dream come true to score four points in an Origin game, knowing my parents were up in the stands and very proud of me.

"It's something I have dreamed of doing since I moved to Australia and it was real special but it doesn't make up for losing the series.

"We have to draw a line in the sand and say enough is enough."

Aside from one handling error following a Cooper Cronk downfield kick deep inside his own half, McManus coped admirably under the high ball and worked well with Josh Morris to negate Queensland's dangerous left edge of Greg Inglis and Darius Boyd.

And the 27-year-old feels he's much more suited to Origin than when he debuted in game one back in 2009 under Craig Bellamy in Melbourne.

"I felt a lot more composed in this game," he said.

"We shut down any opportunities they had down that left side and I am a much more mature player than I was when I was 22-23.

"Twelve months is a long time and I still have to get the runs on the board at club level. But I think I showed I am up to doing the job on their left edge.

"That is probably the toughest gig in rugby league and me and J-Moz (Morris) stood up and were equal to the task.

"I'd love to get another crack next year."


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