David Klemmer is expected to be welcomed back into the NSW team for game three of the 2019 State of Origin series, with Daniel Saifiti conceding he may be forced to make way for his Knights teammate in the decider.
Saifiti wasn't overawed in his maiden Origin appearance at Optus Stadium on Sunday night, proving he belongs on the big stage with a strong performance in the middle of the paddock.
However, in a huge boost for the Blues, Klemmer has declared himself a certain starter for game three - leaving Blues coach Brad Fittler with a tough decision to make as they head to Sydney looking to win the series in front of their home fans at ANZ Stadium on July 10.
NRL.com understands the Blues will select Klemmer in the team for game three if he is deemed fit, likely leaving one of Saifiti, Dale Finucane and Tariq Sims facing the prospect of being overlooked.
"I'm so grateful for the opportunity, but at the same time I'm not satisfied," Saifiti said after the game.
"I definitely want to be in this squad for game three. I know Klem is coming back – he is the best front rower in the game. But hopefully I am in the squad somewhere.
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"Klem's tough – one of the toughest I've ever played with. I dare say he will be back for game three. Look, whatever happens, happens. I'm just so grateful to be part of this experience."
Manly workhorse Jake Trbojevic started in the front row alongside Saifiti in the absence of Klemmer, forcing Paul Vaughan back to the bench to add some size to the Blues rotation.
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Trbojevic played nearly 75 minutes in a colossal performance from the renowned lock, who insists the Blues need to find a place for Klemmer in the pack when the series heads to Sydney for a do-or-die showdown.
"It was a massive loss, especially how well Klem went in the first game," Jake Trbojevic said.
"But big Daniel Saifiti stepped in and he was unbelievable on debut. He played mature beyond his years and you could see that Klem has been working with him up there in Newcastle. Klem's a massive loss and we knew it would be tough.
"If he's putting his hand up and is going to be fit, you'd have to put him high up there for consideration. The way he played the first game, it's a good headache for Freddie to have. He's one of those blokes who if he is putting his hand up, you have to take notice. It's a good spot for us to be in."