Origin experience boosts Bulldog Jackson
Canterbury and NSW back-rower Josh Jackson has received a boost out of his first call-up to the Origin arena, his coach Des Hasler said after the 24-year-old's man of the match effort against Parramatta on Friday night.
Jackson was heavily involved, notching an equal match-high four tackle breaks, while his 171 metres were second among all players after fullback Brett Morris and he added a crucial second half try.
Hasler went out of his way to praise Jackson's efforts in the post-match press conference, saying he had gotten a lift out of his first Origin campaign.
"It certainly adds to their confidence. It's amazing, over the 6-8 week period he didn't play a lot of footy but I think any experience like that is always good for any young footballer," Hasler said.
Jackson humbly suggested to NRL.com that there were a number of his teammates more deserving of the accolade after the 28-4 win, including Brett Morris, Aiden Tolman and Sam Perrett.
"I thought a lot of other people probably could have got it. Brett Morris was outstanding, Sammy Perrett's outstanding every week, Aiden Tolman, those guys just do it every week. There's a lot of raps there for guys, I thought we all played really well," he said.
He praised Perrett's efforts in defusing a series of tough kicks and spending all night marking up on blockbusting Eels winger Semi Radradra.
"He's not an easy man to stop big Semi Radradra and I thought Sammy did a really good job on him tonight, particularly under the high ball, he's as safe as houses back there, he's very underrated and deserve the raps," Jackson said.
Refusing to give himself a plug, Jackson laughed off his try-scoring performance.
"I don't get over much! I might have got one early this year. It's always good to get the four pointers so I'll take it," he said.
Jackson also praised the efforts of his young edge back-row partner Shaun Lane, who was held back for 60 minutes before coming on and providing a constant threat with his offloads.
"He's playing outstanding footy," Jackson said after Lane's fourth top-grade game.
"For a guy who's only just come into it he's playing like a bloke who's been there for years. He knows when to throw the offloads and when to hold them back. He's just a big kid and he'll only get better."
Jackson said while the win over the Eels was scrappy there were some positives to take from it.
"I thought we defended well when it counted. It was good to get the win, especially after the Brisbane loss [last week]," he said.
"It's pretty tight around the eight at the moment so hopefully we can string a few more together and come into the finals with a little bit of form and feel a little bit comfortable not having to rely on your differential coming into the finals."