Maroons enforcer hits back over infamous State of Origin image

·3-min read
Seen here, Felise Kaufusi and the infamous Jarome Luai incident from Origin Game I.
Felise Kaufusi admits he hasn't forgotten about the Jarome Luai incident from Game I. Pic: Twitter/Getty

Queensland enforcer Felise Kaufusi admits he still has the controversial Jarome Luai moment from State of Origin Game I in the back of his mind as the Maroons plot their revenge in Sunday's second match at Suncorp Stadium.

A photo of the New South Wales five-eighth appearing to taunt Kaufusi as he stands over the top of the grounded Maroons forward, has since gone viral.

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The contentious incident has been one of the major talking points after the Blues' 50-6 thumping of the Maroons in Townsville for Game I.

Origin rookie Luai's apparent act of disrespect towards a man that has won multiple series with Queensland and premierships with the Melbourne Storm, has not gone down well in some parts, with league experts insisting it will only serve as added motivation for the Maroons in a do-or-die Game II.

Speaking from Maroons camp on Thursday, Kaufusi admitted that he's "kept the receipts" of the Luai incident but refused to be drawn on whether he will use it as fuel for Sunday's game.

"I don't think I need any more motivation than that thrashing that we copped there, but I've kept the receipts there and hopefully can turn it around," he said.

"He plays with a lot of passion - that's what Origin is all about - so hopefully I can flip the script there.

"They're on cloud nine at the moment and so they should be after that win."

Pictured here, NSW teammates Jarome Luai and Nathan Cleary share a laugh in Origin Game I.
Confidence will be sky high in the NSW Blues camp after their thumping Game I victory. Pic: Getty

Luai said he had been celebrating a strong carry from teammate Junior Paulo off the kick-off that had skittled the Melbourne Storm star.

"There you go," Kaufusi said when informed on Thursday.

"I must have got steamrolled ... I more embarrassed at myself (than concerned about the Blues being arrogant) to be honest and that's just the passion, we (need to) play with that sort of passion too."

Kaufusi rejects suggestions of arrogance from debutant Luai but admits the image had stuck with him in the lead-up to the Maroons' must-win encounter.

QLD's 'daunting' Game I review

The Maroons completed an opposed training session on Thursday - something they didn't do before the series opener in Townsville - with Jai Arrow back on deck after receiving hospital treatment for an arm infection earlier this week.

Coach Paul Green conceded after the 44-point hiding in Game I that their training standard had potentially played into their sloppy showing.

Kaufusi said a "daunting" review session earlier in the week had laid bare where they had to improve.

"There were some dropped balls in training and that leaked in," he said.

"I dropped one cold (in Townsville) but the session (on Tuesday) has been our best session this whole two camps."

The Maroons have drifted to record long odds of $4.50 with some bookies to square the series after a Tom Trbojevic hat-trick stole the show in Townsville.

"Far out he's going to be hard to handle," Kaufusi said.

"Our backs our against the wall but we love a fight and have always been underdogs.

"Even if we do win they always find a way to pin us on the back fence and it's up to us to turn it."

with AAP

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