Uate's impressive Origin audition - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Uate's impressive Origin audition

Matt Sadler and Joe Barton 24/04/2011 06:11:57 PM Comments (0)

All year we've waited for Newcastle winger Akuila Uate to stand up and show NSW selectors why he deserves a State of Origin jumper.

After a brilliant season last year, where he finished as the NRL's leading try-scorer with 21, Uate was anointed as a potential saviour for a NSW team searching desperately for a way to stop Queensland's reign of five series wins.

A prolific try-scorer with pace to burn was supposed to be the answer to the Maroons' backline that features the supreme quality of Greg Inglis, Justin Hodges and Billy Slater.

Instead, Uate has eased into 2011 - crossing just twice in the first six rounds.

But his game-breaking potential was there for all to see during Sunday's 22-12 defeat of Canberra at Canberra Stadium and puts him firmly in line for a Country Origin call-up for the May 6 City versus Country clash.

With Queensland Origin coach Mal Meninga watching on from the Raiders' coaching box, Uate stole the match from Newcastle with a brace of tries in seven dramatic minutes as the Knights turned a 12-6 deficit into a 22-12 victory.

Knights coach Rick Stone endorsed Uate's Origin claims.

"He's been outstanding for us all year," Stone said.

"He probably hasn't got the tries to back it up.

"I reckon he's been caught on the jumper probably up to a dozen times in his first seven games.

"Akuila's couple of tries (against Canberra) is probably a bit of cherry on the cake."

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