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Origin time up for Pearce: Raudonikis

NSW's original halfback Tommy Raudonikis has urged Blues coach Laurie Daley to call time on Mitchell Pearce's State of Origin career after Wednesday's 12-10 defeat by Queensland.
Origin time up for Pearce: Raudonikis
by AAP

By Ian McCullough

SYDNEY, July 18 AAP - NSW's original halfback Tommy Raudonikis has urged Blues coach Laurie Daley to call time on Mitchell Pearce's State of Origin career after Wednesday's 12-10 defeat by Queensland.

Despite being in sole possession of the No.7 jersey since 2011, Pearce has failed to ignite the Blues to a series win.

Raudonikis, who played in the very first Origin clash in 1980, believes it's now time to move on from the Sydney Roosters star and his club teammate five-eighth James Maloney and pass the opportunity to South Sydney's Adam Reynolds and John Sutton.

"We need to get new halfbacks," Raudonikis told AAP on Thursday.

"Adam Reynolds has to be given a chance - as does John Sutton.

"Sutton is a big, strong five-eighth. He's been running the ball well this year. These are the players we have to be looking at."

Raudonikis, who now lives north of the Tweed, admits it will be painful to listen to more Queensland gloating for another 12 months, but said until the Blues work out how to cut out their mistakes, there will be more disappointments.

"We weren't good enough. We made more line breaks than them but every time we seemed to drop the football or make the wrong decision," he said.

"They just won by their experience. I am sick of saying we are getting closer - I just want us to get the biscuits.

You can only win by playing better than them and, unless we work out how to do that, we're in trouble."

Despite the loss, Raudonikis said he has been impressed by coach Laurie Daley and would like him to continue next year and build the forward pack around Andrew Fifita.

"I would keep the coach as he has done a good job," he said.

"Fifita has been the best player of the series for NSW.

"He looks a very good player. His offload to (Josh) Dugan was magnificent but Dugan dropped it when he should have gone under the posts.

"In the forwards, I don't rate (James) Tamou too highly. But the rest of them I would stick with.

"Next year, Queensland have two home games but we just have to hope we can do it."




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