Pearce out to own Origin II - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Pearce out to own Origin II

David Beniuk 11/06/2011 01:07:13 PM Comments (0)

NSW halfback Mitchell Pearce has challenged himself to grab State of Origin II by the throat after the Blues let a crucial patch of momentum slide in game one.

A miracle NSW victory with less than 40 per cent of the second-half possession had looked a possibility when Ricky Stuart's side hit the front with 11 minutes remaining at Suncorp Stadium.

But, with little petrol left in the NSW tank, the never-say-die Queenslanders found a way to snatch the 16-12 win with a try laid on by superstars Darren Lockyer and Billy Slater.

"We felt the momentum really swing our way," Pearce told AAP. "That's a big thing, especially in an Origin game.

"In the past, Queensland have constantly had that momentum, they've probably been on top the whole time or for most parts of the game and they've won at crucial times."

Pearce, who spoke with league legend Andrew Johns about his performance after Origin I, says it's up to him to better control the Blues' game at ANZ Stadium on Wednesday night.

"The big thing for me is when we're in front just to really attack the lead and if we're behind (it's) keeping your cool," the Sydney Roosters No.7 said.

"That comes with experience, I think that probably comes with NSW taking that next step.

"Players like Darren Lockyer, they're always in the zone coming up with the right play and, as a halfback, that's my job when the game's on the line.

"You've got to use the experience and challenge yourself - if that (moment) arrives, you've got to step up and do that."

Apart from a 10-minute period which produced two tries late in the second half, Blues halves Pearce and Jamie Soward had little opportunity to show their attacking wares.

Pearce managed four runs, and they included a tackle break and a 65th minute try.

His captain at the Roosters, Braith Anasta, said the 22-year-old son of former NSW captain Wayne Pearce had the ability and maturity to dictate terms in just his fifth Origin game.

"He's definitely got the capabilities to own and dominate a game and, in particular at Origin level, he can do it," Anasta told AAP.

"He's just got to back himself and his own ability.

"We love him and think the world of him here and I'm sure Joey (Johns) does too, I've spoken to Joey about him in the past.

"Everyone knows how good he is and how great he can be so he's just got to back himself and I reckon he can really dominate and get the victory for NSW."

Former Blues five-eighth Anasta said 31-year-old Roosters fullback Anthony Minichiello would let no one down when he replaces Josh Dugan against the Maroons.

"He turns up," Anasta said.

"I can see why Ricky didn't hesitate to pick him because he's fit, he's physical, he's always on the ball, he's a great support player, which you need in Origin.

"He's just so solid at the back and you add his experience to that."

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2020 AAP

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