Just keep those tries coming Dane.
That’s the message from Queensland champion Greg Inglis to Maroons teammate Dane Gagai ahead of State of Origin III in Sydney next Wednesday.
Gagai’s hat-trick in game two not only clinched the series for Queensland but made the winger just the second man to score five tries in his first three Origins.
The other player to achieve that feat – Origin’s record try-scorer Inglis.
The 29-year-old has 17 tries in 29 Origins but says if Gagai continues his try-scoring ways and one day eclipses his record, it’s no bother to him.
“I’m just happy that Gags got the three tries and put the points on the board,” Inglis said.
“As long as we get the points on the board it doesn’t matter.”
Gagai’s Origin success has come despite adversity which would have overwhelmed to many.
The Newcastle flyer wept openly on the field following a heavy NRL loss to Cronulla in May, just hours after his grandmother had died.
He’s also spoken openly about the toll a spate of suicides among young rugby league players in his hometown of Mackay has had on him.
Despite all that, Gagai’s three Origin appearances so far have resulted in a handful of tries, three wins, no defeats and two series victories.
Inglis says it’s clear the 25-year-old will be a Maroons’ fixture for many years to come.
“Gags came in game three last year and speaking to him after that game he just excels at this level,” Inglis said.
“You sit back and watch the boys go through their preparation and he’s one that ticks all the boxes.
“He’s 24-25 and he’s still got a long career ahead of him.”