Gold Coast skip­per’s men­tal tough­ness key to bruis­ing Blues Myles cru­cial to vic­tory

Townsville Bulletin - - SPORT - TODD BALYM

PETERO Civon­iceva be­lieves Queens­land’s for­ward pack needs to earn re­spect back and is con­fi­dent they will to­mor­row night be­cause of one man – Nate Myles.

Queens­land’s most capped prop rates Myles as one of the tough­est men ever to pull on a Ma­roons jer­sey and as in­flu­en­tial as the likes of Ori­gin greats Dar­ren Lock­yer and Johnathan Thurston.

The Gold Coast skip­per

is head­ing into his 29th Ori­gin game, which puts him only four be­hind Civon­iceva’s Ori­gin record, and is renowned among the Blues for be­ing the barom­e­ter of in­ten­sity in the Queens­land pack.

That is why Civon­iceva has so much re­spect for Myles.

He has seen what he’s copped and what he has en­dured to keep turn­ing up for the Ma­roons time and again.

“Just his tough­ness, his men­tal tough­ness,’’ Civon­iceva said. “His phys­i­cal tough­ness we all know about but just be­ing able to push through the pain bar­rier we have seen time and time again. Peo­ple ask me all the time who would be your top Ori­gin play­ers you’ve been for­tu­nate to play with.

“Of course, I al­ways rat­tle off Locky ( Lock­yer) and Johno ( Thurston) but Nate is al­ways there. He is al­ways among the very top be­cause of what I’ve seen him push­ing his body through.

“He is such a big- hearted player and tremen­dous leader who prob­a­bly doesn’t get the ac­co­lades that he de­serves. He will be cru­cial to a big vic­tory.”

The Ma­roons are con­fronting a mon­ster Blues pack that bul­lied them in Ori­gin II but Civon­iceva knows there is a Queens­land re­sponse com­ing at Sun­corp Sta­dium.

“I’ve got tremen­dous be­lief in those guys,’’ Civon­iceva said. “Noth­ing is bet­ter than when your backs are against the wall and you’re wear­ing a Queens­land jumper and you’re play­ing at home.

“No doubt there would be some in­di­vid­ual mo­ti­va­tion there to want to prove a few peo­ple wrong and there will be some great in­di­vid­ual clashes out there.

“The big guys would be think­ing this is the 80 min­utes where I need to stand up and earn some re­spect and show what it’s all about play­ing for Queens­land.”

Civon­iceva agreed the Blues got the bet­ter of the Ma­roons for­wards in Ori­gin II, with the likes of Aaron Woods, James Tamou and David Klem­mer lead­ing NSW to a strong vic­tory.

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