Reece Walsh cops brutal swipe from NSW great Benny Elias ahead of State of Origin I

Elias has called on the Blues to 'obliterate' Reece Walsh in Game I.

NSW great Benny Elias has called on the Blues to 'obliterate' Reece Walsh in Game I. Elias - who played 19 games for NSW between 1985 and 1994- believes the Queensland fullback will be exposed on Wednesday night on the big stage.

Many New South Welshman see Walsh as arrogant, with his flair and cocky style heavily marketed in Queensland. His speed, agility and all-round football ability, however, cannot be disputed. Last year for the Maroons Walsh was a standout at fullback after being called into the team in Kalyn Ponga's absence after the Knights No.1 prioritised his club duties as he recovered from a series of bad concussions.

NRL great Ben Elias says Reece Walsh is a player Blues fans can get behind hating as he demands the fullback is “obliterated” by NSW on Wednesday night. Image: Getty
NRL great Ben Elias says Reece Walsh is a player Blues fans can get behind hating as he demands the fullback is “obliterated” on Wednesday night. Image: Getty

And despite many saying he has therefore proven himself at Origin level, the ex-Blues hooker doesn't see it that way and believes the Blues will bury the small fullback from the get-go on Wednesday. “It’s been a long time since we have hated a Queenslander, so why not this bloke, who is a liar?” Elias told The Daily Telegraph. "There’s no better target than a bloke named Reece Walsh.

"We will physically obliterate this bloke from the first minute. Walsh is a superstar, no doubt, and he is loved by all those people north of the border. But the bombs will be high and when your eyes and hands are waiting for the ball, you’re exposed. He will know about it. Walsh will be absolutely terrorised and it will be more physical than a couple of punches. He is a pretty boy and he’s good for our game but we need to hate someone."

BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 20: Reece Walsh of the Broncos celebrates after scoring a try during the round seven NRL match between the Brisbane Broncos and Canberra Raiders at Suncorp Stadium, on April 20, 2024, in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)
Ex-Blues players Mark Carroll and Benny Elias believe that Reece Walsh is a man that the Blues will want to target.

Ex-NSW hardman Mark Carroll also believes that Walsh is a player that the Blues will want to target and says the Queensland No.1 should count his lucky stars he didn't have to play against him. "As an old dinosaur, seeing someone so beautiful as Walsh, with his flowing hair and painted fingernails, I’d love to get my hands on him," Carroll said. "His beautiful blue eyes would be spinning."

Walsh is one of the most exciting players in the NRL but his flashes of brilliance have regularly been overshadowed by too many unforced errors. Walsh has made 22 errors in the NRL this year, second only to Dragons captain and Queensland teammate, Ben Hunt.

Brisbane coach Kevin Walters has previously told the star fullback that he needs to "take a chill pill" and play what is in front of him. But ahead of Game I Queensland coach Billy Slater dismissed any suggestions that he should rope in the gun fullback.

Maroons captain Daly Cherry-Evans also said he doesn't have any concerns over Walsh's temperament. "I reckon I am going to let him be Reece. I am certainly not going to talk to him about it," Cherry-Evans said.


"There are plenty of other things we talk about in camp, and so long as our talk and connection is around how we play our best footy, I reckon Reece has always got the team first. I think he is going to be fine. He has a great mentor in Billy (Slater, coach). He won’t be short of people giving him advice, but ultimately the best advice we can give Reece is to go out there and be himself."