PANTHERS PIP BUNNIES | More misery for South Sydney Rabbitohs as the Penrith Panthers scraped home d...
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Broncos skipper Gorden Tallis has offered his services to Queensland coach Michael Hagan ahead of tonight?s deciding Origin clash as concern over the fitness of Steven Price and Michael Crocker heightens.
Crocker rolled his ankle at Tuesday?s team training session and was forced to sit out the rest of the run, with team doctor Roy Saunders describing the 23-year-old Roosters? ankle as "a bit dodgy".
Price, meanwhile, has undergone MRI scans on a foot injury which has hampered his preparation for the match at Telstra Stadium.
Tallis, who retired from representative football at the end of 2003, said he would take his boots to Sydney in case either man was forced to withdraw.
"I'll be bringing my boots to Sydney tomorrow. You can tell them that down there," the 30-year-old backrower said.
"We'll just see what happens."
Queensland selection chairman Gene Miles said he expected both Crocker and Price to play, but would discuss the matter with Hagan before making approaching any other player.
"We'll see how it goes in the morning," Miles said of Crocker.
"We know the guy's character and he's pretty determined to play, especially after missing the second match through suspension."
Hagan was confident Crocker would take his place in the Maroons starting side, adding the fiery second-rower was a key player in Queensland?s bid to upset a NSW team with seemingly everything in their favour.
Bookmakers had NSW odds-on favourites ahead of the match which is NSW coach Phil Gould and five-eighth Brad Fittler?s final State of Origin. As well, the Blues have an unbeaten record on the slippery Telstra Stadium surface and, as Gould had hoped, have Paul Simpkins controlling the match rather than Sean Hampstead.
?The record [of having not won] here, Phil Gould's last game, Brad Fittler's last game, [Gould's] got the team that he wanted, [Gould's] got the referee that he wanted, there's a lot of things pointing towards a NSW victory,? Hagan said.
"But it's not about Phil Gould or Brad Fittler for our team it's about Queensland and that state.
"Our players are pretty much committed as a group of people to doing it for Queensland.