Manly winger Jorge Taufua insists he wasn’t disappointed to miss selection in the 2014 Origin series despite a hefty injury toll for the Blues’ outside backs, declaring his form didn't warrant selection.
Taufua missed the start of the season with an injury to his left shoulder suffered at the pre-season Auckland Nines tournament and has recently battled a left ankle injury that kept him out of the side’s Round 17 loss to the Bulldogs.
In all he has played nine games in 2014, scoring eight tries with 28 tackle breaks while running for 135 metres per game.
After winning the opening Origin encounter with a full strength backline the Blues lost both winger Brett Morris (shoulder) and centre Josh Morris (knee) for the second game, with Josh Dugan and Will Hopoate being called up.
Then Hopoate (shoulder) and centre Michael Jennings (elbow) were ruled out of the final game. With Josh Morris fit to return, Knights winger James McManus got the nod for the vacant wing role, despite calls for either Taufua or in-form Penrith flanker Josh Mansour to be handed a debut.
However Taufua said he didn’t feel he was even close to a call up.
“Not really this year, due to injuries, but I thought my form hasn’t really been up to scratch so I’m not really disappointed,” Taufua said.
“This time last year I thought I was playing really good football, I’ve just focused on getting back to that. Maybe this time next year… Origin may come one day.”
He said if he felt he’d been playing well enough to get picked he would have been more disappointed. “But credit to those that have been picked and we’ll hopefully see the Blues get a clean sweep.”
However Taufua couldn’t hide his excitement that the Blues had finally broken their eight-year interstate drought.
“Yeah, man, it would’ve been the ninth if Queensland won. It was so good to see them win, I couldn’t imagine what it was like winning that second game,” he said.
“I know they’ve still got a big job ahead of them on Wednesday night so I’m looking forward to watching that.”
Taufua said with his current ankle injury he is no sure thing to line up for Manly this weekend and would have been no guarantee of being fit for Origin III even if he had been picked.
“I’m not too sure at the moment [if I’ll play on Friday], I’ve got a couple of fitness tests in the next couple of days so fingers crossed,” Taufua said on Tuesday.
“If I was [playing Origin] I would have done my rehab and physio a little bit more than what I have but I’ve had a bit more time to rest.”