He might be a proud New South Welshman, but South Sydney centre Dylan Walker says Queensland’s State of Origin victory has catapulted NRL star Greg Inglis back into form.
The Rabbitohs skipper was at his vintage best in Saturday night’s 52-6 massacre of Newcastle, notching a first-half hat-trick in the 10-try rout.
With the finals just six weeks away, the Maroons’ weapon sent a warning shot to rest of the league – running for 147 metres, breaking 12 tackles, busting the line three times and setting up another try just for good measure.
It was the second straight week – his first two games post-Origin – that the 28-year-old hit double figures in tackle breaks, made three line breaks and ran over 150 metres.
In his first season as sole captain of the club, Inglis admitted last week to struggling with his newfound responsibilities over the first half of the year.
But Walker, who also bagged a hat-trick in the win, said Inglis had returned from Queensland’s interstate triumph a new man.
“I thought Origin sparked his form. He went to Origin and he played really well for his state,” he said.
“Even though I go for NSW, he’s come back and really shown it at club level. He’s working really hard and he’s a very inspiring leader.”
Rabbitohs coach Michael Maguire said he noticed his star fullback had returned from Origin duties with a skip in his step.
But he also credited the dominant win to a now full-strength squad that have honed their combinations on the training paddock in recent weeks.
“(Greg has) got a lot of energy at the moment, which is a great thing,” he said.
“I think that’s created off all the boys just enjoying what they’re doing.”