They say you’re only as good as your last game. And the highlights reel from Greg Inglis’ last NRL match is not too flattering.
But Darren Lockyer believes the South Sydney star’s most recent clash for Queensland shows why he should be kept as Maroons fullback in Billy Slater’s absence.
In the past NRL round, Inglis suffered one of the great brain explosions when he attempted a field goal in the dying seconds as the Rabbitohs trailed the Bulldogs by two points.
It was not a good look, especially with Brisbane’s Darius Boyd and Cronulla’s Ben Barba putting their hand up early for the Queensland No.1 jersey in the absence of Slater (shoulder).
Queensland coach Kevin Walters revealed he would keep an open mind on contenders as he scoured the NRL before June’s State of Origin series opener.
But former Brisbane and Maroons great Lockyer reckons Walters will find his man if he simply reviews Queensland’s 52-6 Origin III win in 2015.
Inglis ran amok in the record victory, effortlessly filling in for the injury-plagued Slater.
“When you start looking at club form and forget about the last performance in the Origin jersey, you can start going around in circles,” Lockyer said.
“You are better off looking at what the guys did in the jersey the last time.
“It was 52-6 and GI had a pretty powerful game.
“It’s good to have options open and I am sure Kevvie is, but from my perspective I think Greg is your man.”
Slater missed Origin III in 2015 after he broke down with his shoulder injury.
His comeback from a shoulder reconstruction in 2016 lasted one NRL game for Melbourne.
Walters admits Slater’s loss will be “bigger than what people think”.
“I know from a coaching point of view, having worked with him at the Melbourne Storm and at Origin level, just how much he brings to a team,” Walters told the Former Origin Greats website.
“Everyone in the Queensland team is going to have to share that load a bit because Billy just brings so much to the team.
“He knows how to win, and he does win.
“Not having Billy there this year is a big loss for us … but I know we haven’t seen the last of Billy Slater.”