Origin snub fuelling Raider Wighton's fire

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Jack Wighton admits his snubbing from NSW's State of Origin game three side lit a fire in him as he leads Canberra's NRL finals push.

Wighton was considered the Blues' best player in the Game I loss but missed Game II with COVID and NSW coach Brad Fittler opted against recalling him for the decider to stick with Stephen Crichton and Matt Burton as his centres.

Many have questioned if Wighton could have had more impact in the brutal Game III defeat.

But 29-year-old Wighton is focussed on taking his game to new heights while spearheading the Raiders' current three-game win streak.

"Things like that always light a fire in the belly, you're always trying to be better," he told reporters on Wednesday.

"Full credit to everybody that got picked in that (NSW) side, a great bunch of blokes that tried their guts out and full respect, but it always lights a little fire and I'm just running with that.

"I've been happy all year and I just keep trying to build ... I'm always learning and just having fun, the boys are rallying around."

The five-eighth has lifted his trademark bursting runs since Origin, averaging 96m and 4.7 tackle busts per game compared with 88m and 2.8 busts per game pre-Origin.

And his kicking game has improved dramatically, booting for an extra 101m per game since Origin and finding two 40-20s, something Wighton put down to an improving combination with halfback Jamal Fogarty.

After their win against Gold Coast, Canberra coach and former halfback Ricky Stuart said having a tight friendship with a halves partner can be crucial to success, a sentiment Wighton agrees with.

"I love 'Jamma'. He's a great bloke, great family man, great teammate and a great leader," he said.

"Half the job is communication, if you can't talk to your halves partner it's a tough gig for the day.

"But all that nice stuff being said, we've done nothing yet, we just go one week at a time and try to capitalise on it."

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