You have skipped the navigation, tab for page content
Sprays from Sticky and Kevvie have Papalii pumped for Maroons

Josh Papalii has two sprays from Ricky Stuart and Kevin Walters still ringing in his ears but the Maroons prop has vowed to go to Sydney on Wednesday night and get the job done for Queensland in the State of Origin series decider.

The Maroons powerhouse was not happy with his game in the 38-6 thrashing by the Blues in Perth and admits he could have done a lot more in Canberra's disappointing 22-16 loss to the Eels in Darwin after the Raiders led 16-0.

Stuart unloaded on the team after the game in a vintage blast that Papalii said left him "a bit sore".

"Yeah, that was pretty bad," Papalii chuckled

"Look, Sticky has built a real nice culture down there and we've had this growing for a couple of years. That is one we should have put in the bag. We had a quick chat after the game and I can't remember much but we were a bit sore after he blew us up. That is what I like in a coach. He cares.

"After any Origin game you want to go back and you want to play well and that is one game I could have done a bit more, but I didn't.

"I am glad there was a third [Origin] game because I flew straight out of Darwin and straight back into camp. I am happy to be back in Queensland camp."

Injury scare as Gillett fails to finish training

That happiness to be away from the wrath of Stuart was countered by the dissatisfaction of Walters with Queensland's display in Origin II in Perth.

The coach let his displeasure be known in no uncertain terms in the post-match presser where he unleashed on his team. Papalii was aware of Walters' anger and got more of an understanding of how deep that went when he arrived in Brisbane on Monday.

"After that second game I didn't speak to him until I came back into camp but, look, he wasn't happy,” Papalii said.

"So he shouldn't be. He is the Queensland coach and we are the Queensland players. We just didn't deliver that night.

"Kevvie touched on it in a lot of media that from the get-go we just weren't good enough. We need to be better from the get-go. We have spoken about it as a forward pack. I think that is in both parts of the game. Defensively we weren't aiming up. Obviously there were a few tries scored on us. In attack we just weren't going forward.

"I thought we were pretty poor in the second game and let ourselves down by the way we played by not setting a good platform for the backs to do their thing and show the magic that we know the Queensland backs can do.

"We know what we can do as a forward pack. We turned up in game one ready to go and in game two we were just off the pace." columnist Steve Renouf said this week that Joe Ofahengaue's recall would be a boost for the Maroons in the decider. Ofahangaue will start with Papalii. Renouf added that he expected Papalii to play like "the bull in the paddock that gets bitten by the bee".

"I hope so," Papalii grinned when told of Renouf's comments.

"I am just going to focus on having a good week first and prepping for the game on Wednesday and then  getting the boys off to a good start.

"I only played I think 10 minutes with Joffa before he got hurt in the first game and I thought we started that second half in game one pretty well. I am pretty excited to play with Joffa again and I hope he is too.

How Ofahengaue made sure he wouldn't miss Origin III

"He has been training pretty well and for a young fella he has got a real good mentality about himself and how professional he is as a player. He is definitely a bigger body which is nice to have in your team and I think he will play some [big] minutes as well. Now we have got a good opportunity to go down to Sydney and get the job done."

Papalii was sporting a giant red eye when he spoke to media on Friday but said it would not impede his performance.

"It is a bit swollen. It is a slight infection on my eyelash. It is going down… it doesn't look like it. It is not too bad. I have got another eye anyway," he grinned.

Acknowledgement of Country

National Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

Premier Partner

Media Partners

Major Partners

View All Partners