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Pearce call surprises Thurston

Johnathan Thurston says rival Mitchell Pearce has piled more pressure on himself by admitting that Wednesday's State of Origin decider looms as make or break for his representative career.
Pearce call surprises Thurston
by AAP

By Laine Clark

COOLUM, Qld July 12 AAP - Johnathan Thurston says rival Mitchell Pearce has piled more pressure on himself by admitting that Wednesday's State of Origin decider looms as make or break for his representative career.

Queensland playmaker Thurston appeared surprised on Friday that Pearce would acknowledged that publicly, even if many agree he'll be on thin ice if the Blues fail to end Queensland's seven series winning streak at ANZ Stadium.

Already NSW's longest-serving halfback in Origin history, Pearce would have another less desirable record as the first Blues No.7 to be involved in five series losses with another defeat.

"He (Pearce) has been probably the only player in the halves that they have gone to and given many chances," said Thurston.

"He has come out and put a fair amount of pressure on himself.

"When you do that I suppose it makes you focus all week and want to come out and perform and get the job done."

Thurston paused before adding: "He will be looking to have a big game."

NSW's most successful coach, Phil Gould, agreed the pressure was well and truly on Pearce.

"NSW really needs to win this game, simple as that," said Gould on Fairfax website The Phil Gould Show.

"The first two games were decided in the first 20 minutes ...but I think this one will be decided at the other end of the match, in the last 10 minutes.

"That's when you steel yourself, when you have to go in with momentum, confidence and belief that you can get the job done and that's what Mitchell Pearce has got to do for this side.

"He's been there long enough and I think he realises that - he needs to produce a win."

Pearce's halves partner James Maloney is also under the gun in Origin III after being steamrolled by Maroons backrower Sam Thaiday in game two.

But that did not stop Queensland skipper Cameron Smith from trying to add to the pressure by pumping up Maloney's game two tormentor.

"I think Sammy wanted to answer a few critics and he did it in the best possible way," he said.

"So we are looking for another big game from the big boy again."


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