The 2016 State of Origin series may belong to Queensland after their Game 2 victory, but don’t dare mention the words ‘dead rubber’ to anyone in the NSW camp.
Dyldam Parramatta Eels and experienced centre Michael Jennings made it clear how he and his teammates will get motivated for Game III.
Jennings says emphatically, “We don’t want it to be a whitewash, we don’t want it to be three in a row, we really want to win next week. For us, it’s all about pride now.”
One of the veterans of the squad, Jennings has represented NSW a total of seventeen times since 2009. He expressed excitement at the injection of new talent into the squad, especially popular fullback debutant James Tedesco.
“He’s a quality player, it’s unlucky for Moylan to miss out, but Tedesco has definitely done the job and earned his spot. He’s one of the hardest fullbacks to tackle in the NRL. He’s just so strong, so quick and nippy.”
Jennings praises not only Tedesco’s speed, but also his strength and size which should serve him well on the Origin stage.
“Every time I’ve played him on a club level, he’s just one of those players that’s so hard to tackle.”
The centre also shows appreciation for new kid on the block Jack Bird, saying they room together and get along famously, Jennings describing the Sharks young gun as a ‘good fella’.
He also states that all the young blood in the 2016 squad have done their state proud and have a bright future for NSW.
Game 3 marks skipper Paul Gallen’s retirement from State of Origin and Jennings believes he deserves a packed out ANZ Stadium as “he has done a lot for this state, for this team and all the boys look up to him.”
Jennings clearly admires his captain, emotionally stating that Gallen has not only been a good leader for the State and the Blues team, but he is also a “good person” and urges fans to get out there and show their support and farewell their leader.