Johnathan Thurston doesn’t buy the notion that Greg Inglis performed poorly in State of Origin I, saying critics need to look for more than razzle dazzle.
Inglis was underdone for the series opener, having suffered from tonsillitis during the week.
The superstar was also nursing an ongoing knee issue and failed to provide his trademark spark in Queensland’s 11-10 win at ANZ Stadium.
Inglis was “very down on” himself after the subpar showing, but Thurston believed there was still plenty to like about the 28-year-old’s output.
“He still had a great game for us,” Thurston told AAP.
“There were a couple of errors that we don’t normally see out of him.
“I suppose the media and fans are used to him scoring tries and when that doesn’t happen they think he’s had a bad game.
“In fact he did a really good job for us.”
Thurston, who knows the pressure that comes with being one of the best rugby league players in the world, suggested there were too many “harsh critics” of Inglis after Origin I.
That included the man himself.
“I know he wasn’t too happy with his own performance, but he did an outstanding job for us,” Thurston said.
“He is 100 per cent now .. having a full preparation and training with us the whole week will help.”
Veteran forward Sam Thaiday agreed, saying Inglis played as well as could be expected in Sydney given he was in hospital for three days leading up to the clash.
“He was on a drip .. he was pretty damn sick,” Thaiday told AAP.
“You could see that on the field, but the fact he played just shows his courage and his determination.
“If he can get through this week unscathed and not sick, I’m sure he’ll have a blinder.”
Maroons captain Cameron Smith noted it was wrong to expect too much of Inglis last month.
“It wasn’t an ideal build-up,” Smith said.
“When the big fellow’s well prepared and his head is right, he’s really hard to stop.
“We don’t really want to try and get him into the game, we want him to be in the game and take it upon himself to get himself involved.”
INGLIS’ OUTPUT IN ORIGIN I
*1 missed tackle
*2 handling errors
*1 tackle bust.