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