A Queensland jersey seemed to slip through Kyle Feldt’s grasp – along with the ball – in the Cowboys’ 19-18 NRL win over Brisbane in Townsville.
But even Broncos captain Corey Parker defended Feldt’s errors on Friday night in a belated shot in the arm for the North Queensland winger’s State of Origin chances.
Feldt was in a head-to-head battle with Brisbane’s Corey Oates for a Maroons debut before Queensland coach Kevin Walters confirmed his 17 for the June 1 series opener in Sydney on Tuesday night.
It would be fair to say Feldt suffered stage fright.
Feldt stone cold dropped one pass to hand Brisbane possession in the red zone before not once, but twice spilling Ben Hunt bombs.
And that was just the first half.
Somehow Feldt regained his composure to help North Queensland reel in an 18-6 deficit with half an hour left on the clock.
Even Parker felt sorry for Feldt after his horror start.
“What you didn’t see was that there was a fair breeze going on,” Parker said.
“He found himself under the high ball and we managed to get the ball back a couple of times.”
Cowboys coach Paul Green wondered whether Feldt had been preoccupied with Origin speculation.
“That wasn’t Feldty,” Green said of the winger’s first-half debacle.
“He is one of the safest (hands) in our team.
“But sometimes that can happen – you let the little voices in your head dominate.”
Green admitted he may have planted the seed for Feldt’s indecision.
“You say ‘don’t think about it (Origin)’, but sometimes that is the worst thing because it puts it straight in their heads,” Green said.
“Whether or not it was that, I am not sure, but it was a good learning curve for him because he got himself back in the game and got involved in the second half.”
For the record, Cowboys and Queensland playmaker Johnathan Thurston still believed Feldt would not look out of place in Maroon.
“He’d do a job there if that is how the selectors go – no doubt about it,” Thurston said.
“He fought back well after those errors.”