Harrison will go the Origin distance - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Harrison will go the Origin distance

By Wayne Heming 01/07/2011 06:05:01 PM Comments (0)

You won't get a controversial back page story out of Ashley Harrison but what Queensland will get from him on a desperate Wednesday night is a player who'll go the whole nine yards against NSW in Origin III the decider.

If Harrison, rugby league's Mr Conservative, talked like he tackled you'd never shut him up.

But he's always been a quiet achiever, a player who goes about his business professionally without worrying about his scrapbook or what anyone is saying about him except his coach or teammates.

His Gold Coast club is going through a tough time sitting last on the NRL ladder, yet he has continued to play well enough to retain his State of Origin starting jumper as a respected and trusted member of Queensland's side hoping to give skipper Darren Lockyer the perfect send off at Suncorp Stadium next week.

Wednesday night's game - already billed as one of the most important Origin matches in history - will come down to the last man standing stuff of yesteryear.

Harrison, Sam Thaiday and hooker Cameron Smith all went the distance in Origin II playing 80 minutes, while NSW prop revelation and man-of-the-match Paul Gallen was the only Blues forward not to get a rest.

The Maroons faded on the back of too many errors in Sydney, and were forced to make close to 90 more tackles than Origin I when they finished strongly to win.

Anticipating another super human game from Gallen, Harrison and his backrow partners are in for a torrid night defensively, especially if Manly's hard running Glenn Stewart comes into the side off the bench.

"You're always going to be fatigued when you make that many more tackles (than the opposition) but that comes down to making too many uncharacteristic errors," said Harrison.

"When you do that at Origin, you're going to pay for it.

"You're always exhausted after an Origin game, it doesn't matter what you do.

"This game (Wednesday night) will be all about controlling the footy and building pressure on them."

Harrison said the secret to stopping Gallen from carving out more than 200 metres again, is to just keep turning up.

"Keep putting yourself in front of him because you know he's going to come at you plenty of times," he said.

"He can do it again, he's renowned for his work rate and what he does for NSW.

"I'm sure he's going to bring it again next Wednesday night."

Like star centre Justin Hodges, Harrison is under a hamstring watch - but he's certain there won't be a problem.

"The hammy's fine," he said on Friday.

"I just had to take it easy for the first couple of days and give it a bit of time to come good.

"I had a pretty strong session on it this morning and it feels fine so I'll be back in the main group tomorrow."

Harrison was confident Hodges would be fine to go come game night - an assessment supported by team doctor, Roy Saunders.

"He's got no pain, he's had a run this morning and basically he's done all we asked him to do today," said Saunders.

"He'll continue to train but obviously there'll be some modifications to his training because we're concerned he has a history of past hamstring problems.

"At this stage though, everything looks extremely good."

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