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Merritt better than Origin II: Inglis

Nathan Merritt

Greg Inglis knows he's the last person who should be dishing out advice to NSW Origin coach Laurie Daley - but the Queensland superstar is adamant South Sydney teammate Nathan Merritt is better than the player he terrorised in Origin II.
Merritt better than Origin II: Inglis
by AAP

By Steve Jancetic

SYDNEY, July 4 AAP - Greg Inglis knows he's the last person who should be dishing out advice to NSW Origin coach Laurie Daley - but the Queensland superstar is adamant South Sydney teammate Nathan Merritt is better than the player he terrorised in Origin II.

Inglis claimed Merritt was handed a tall order coming up against a Maroons side desperate to maintain it's Origin stranglehold - with seven years of interstate dominance on the line.

The veteran Rabbitohs flyer endured a nightmare Origin debut as Inglis combined with Johnathan Thurston and Darius Boyd to exploit an indecisive Blues right-side defence at Suncorp Stadium.

Merritt was guilty - under what Daley said were his instructions - of racing in off his wing to try and suffocate Inglis, but it only served to hand Boyd an easy ride to the line.

Inglis also beat Merritt in an aerial battle as he iced the win with a try of his own, but said he hoped his "best pal" earned another crack when Daley on Sunday names his side for Origin III.

"I'm not the right person, that's for the selectors," Inglis said when asked if Merritt deserved to keep his spot.

"It's a difficult situation being thrown into that arena with Queensland's backs against the wall."

"I know Nathan's a better player and hopefully the coach knows that he is too."

The close bond between the pair was evident 48 hours later with Inglis the first to congratulate Merritt after he scored for the Bunnies against Canberra.

"I'm happy for him that he got his chance ... we're professional enough, we're teammates, we're best pals - we leave everything on the field between us," Inglis said.

"It's just unfortunate.

"Once everything settled down I started feeling for him, but it's hard to when he's thrown into that arena, especially up at Suncorp Stadium."

Said Merritt of his chances of a second sky blue jumper:

"I'm not too sure, it's up to Laurie.

"My main focus is going out this week and doing my best for the Rabbitohs against the Warriors."


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