Arrow better prepared for bench role

Scott Bailey and Ed Jackson
·2-min read

Jai Arrow still wants to start for Queensland but a year of development under Justin Holbrook has at least made his game more adept to coming off the bench.

Arrow came off the bench in the Maroons' series-opening win, with Tino Fa'asuamaleaui given the No.13 jumper in the 18-14 victory.

Bennett has again named Fa'asuamaleaui to start ahead of Arrow in Sydney on Wednesday, with both getting through a stack of work in Adelaide last week.

Arrow said he would still put his hand up to run out, but a year of Holbrook at Gold Coast has given him the ability to break the game open more in the middle.

The South Sydney-bound middle has become smarter with his offloads, while passing the ball more than any other Titans forward.

He also came off the bench in the final four rounds for the Titans.

"This year I needed to bring something else into my game instead of bashing it up and getting bashed every week," Arrow said.

"Justin Holbrook has helped me so much ... He's brought an early pass into my game or playing it out the back to the halves.

"It is handy that I have had a handful of (Origin) games under my belt and knew what to expect. I am going to do my job for the team.

"I had to play with some confidence and hopefully I can do that next Wednesday as well."

Arrow said he was also comfortable adjusting his mindset for the role.

The Maroons' bench proved a big difference in the Adelaide win, with Arrow and Lindsay Collins combining for 137 metres in the 16 minutes after halftime between them.

In that period alone Queensland won the tug-of-war before scoring two tries that completely turned the tide of the match.

"It did (change my mindset) to be honest," Arrow said.

"It was obviously a different role for me and I knew I had to come on and bring energy, especially being down too.

"As a utility you want to come on and change the game and change the momentum.

"I thought Lindsay Collins was great as well in his first Origin.

"He came on and brought a lot of spark and Dozer (Ben Hunt) as well. Jaydn Su'A came on and did a great job for us."