Maroons back Tino's Origin aggression

Ed Jackson
·3-min read

Queensland lock Tino Fa'asuamaleaui is being urged to maintain the rage by his teammates in next week's State of Origin decider.

The 20-year-old was sin-binned in the second-half of Wednesday's 34-10 game two defeat in Sydney following a scrap with NSW's Payne Haas.

The Blues prop was also sat down for 10 minutes for his involvement in the stoush, appearing to call out Fa'asuamaleaui as he wandered off ANZ Stadium.

Both players will resume hostilities in front of a capacity Suncorp Stadium crowd in game three, and Fa'asuamaleaui's Melbourne premiership-winning teammate Felise Kaufusi doesn't have any issue with the youngster targeting Haas from the outset.

"It will be good to watch that battle," Kaufusi said.

"(Tino) is aggressive and he is young.

"You definitely don't want to lose that aggression, just be smarter ... and smash him legally.

"Rip into him with his defence or his attack."

The stoush between Fa'asuamaleaui and Haas was a talking point in the immediate aftermath, with Queensland coach Wayne Bennett arguing it had been stoked by a newspaper headline on the day of the match.

Both players were fined for the incident and while Maroons' fullback Valentine Holmes lauded Fa'asuamaleaui's aggression, he urged him to keep it within the boundaries of the rules in game three.

"It's good to have in the game, but we don't want to lose a man in this arena," Holmes said.

"It's hard playing with 13, let alone 12.

"He was standing up for himself and playing with his heart on his sleeve. He was playing tough and aggressive.

"That's what you want to see, he just has to be a bit smarter."

While NSW have named an unchanged 17 for game three, the Maroons have made several changes with Harry Grant and Corey Allan set to make their Origin debuts.

Grant has replaced Ben Hunt as the utility off the bench while Allan has replaced Phillip Sami on the wing after the Gold Coast back's lacklustre game two display.

Melbourne prop Christian Welch is also back in the starting line-up after missing game two, with Dunamis Lui dropping back to the bench and Moeaki Fotuaika out of the 17.

Five-eighth Cameron Munster is in but still has to pass NRL concussion protocols to play after his early head knock in game two.

Kaufusi said losing his Storm teammate so early had played a key role in the Maroons' left edge being exposed by the Blues.

"He is huge. Having him not there for the rest of the game, after his knock, was massive to us," Kaufusi said.

"We have got the players ... capable of stepping up into that role. NSW to their credit were relentless.

"Munny will go through his protocols this week and fingers crossed he can get through all that."

Queensland have a day off on Saturday before returning to training at CBUS Super Stadium on Sunday.