Tate injury adds to Maroons intrigue - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Tate injury adds to Maroons intrigue

By Steve Jancetic and Ben Horne 06/06/2010 06:57:55 PM Comments (0)

The first cracks in Queensland's greatest Origin dynasty have begun to appear with a broken jaw to centre Brent Tate and question marks over player loyalty leaving Maroons selectors with plenty to ponder.

For the first time during Queensland's four-year Origin dominance - which can stretch to an incredible five straight series wins with victory in game two on Wednesday week - there is much intrigue as to who selectors will turn to when they announce their side on Tuesday.

Much of the angst has been caused by Israel Folau, whose two-try effort for Brisbane on Sunday would have done little to appease Maroons officials seemingly hell bent on snubbing the 21-year-old superstar following last week's announcement he would be defecting to AFL in 2011.

Tate seemed assured of earning a recall until breaking his jaw in the opening minutes of the Warriors' loss to St George Illawarra in Auckland on Sunday, continuing a shocking run of injuries for the former Test centre following two knee reconstructions in the last four years.

His misfortune has left dual international Lote Tuqiri and Broncos youngster Jharal Yow Yeh vying for a berth, though the latter played down his chances.

"I think anyone would love a piece of Origin but I'm not worried about that at the moment," Yow Yeh said.

"I'm only 20 years old and people like Izzy (Folau), he can handle that kind of stuff but at the moment I'm just worried about playing good for the Broncos.

"I'd probably say it's a little bit early for me to play State of Origin yet, I don't think I'd be ready for it but if it happens it happens."

Complicating matters is the fact Tuqiri appears to be still paying the price for his seven-year stint in rugby union, with QRL managing director Ross Livermore using loyalty as a selection tool last week when asked to compare the merits of Tuqiri and Tate as Folau's possible replacement.

But with Billy Slater's Origin availability in the hands of the NRL match review committee after his reckless elbow to the head of Jarryd Hayne on Friday night, both Tuqiri and Yow Yeh could find themselves in the side with Darius Boyd moving to fullback.

Tate's shocking run continued after he came off second best following an ugly head clash with Dragons backrower Ben Creagh.

He is expected to be out for four-to-six weeks and will undergo surgery on Monday where he will have a plate inserted in his cheek.

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