AustraliaMassive blow for the Maroons as star player Kalyn Ponga is ruled OUT of Origin decider after straining his calf
State of Origin: Mark Geyer urges NSW forwards to use Kalyn Ponga comments as ammo
Ex-NSW hardman Mark Geyer has passionately challenged the Blues' forwards to use comments from Queensland fullback Kalyn Ponga as motivation to explode in State of Origin II. After the Maroons won the series opener 18-14, Ponga declared in a post-match television interview that Queensland "bashed" the current shield holders. While Geyer admitted that Ponga's assessment was honest – NSW's big men were dominated – he urged the Blues to soak in the custodian's words and rectify the situation on Sunday night at Perth's Optus Stadium. "Kalyn Ponga said after the game, quote, 'We bashed them. We bashed NSW'.
Video provided by Wide World of Sports
The Queensland Maroons have been dealt a massive blow after Kalyn Ponga was ruled out due to a calf injury.
Ponga was named to play in Newcastle Knight's match against Brisbane yesterday and in the State of Origin series decider on July 10 but was sat out yesterday.
The Knights confirmed on Sunday their star fullback will be sidelined for two weeks after he strained his calf.
Ponga picked up the injury during the second-half of the Maroons devastating loss to the New South Wales Blues 38-6 on June 23.
NSW Blues dominate Queensland in Game 2 to force State of Origin decider
The New South Wales Blues have forced a State of Origin decider, dominating the Queensland Maroons to the tune of 38-6 on a wet night in Perth. In front of 59,721 fans at Optus Stadium, the Blues put in their best performance in the Origin arena for many years, never giving Queensland a chance. © AAP Images Josh Addo-Carr of the Blues reacts after scoring a try They had a tremendous start to the game, outplaying the Maroons in a frenetic first half. Brad Fittler’s men opened the scoring through Tom Trbojevic when the new centre soared over Kalyn Ponga to latch onto a James Maloney bomb.
On Saturday before the Knights win over the Broncos Ponga told Fox League he believed he would be OK to play in the decider.
'I don't think I'm in doubt, not at all,' Ponga said.
'I'll be sweet. It just pulled up pretty sore after [Origin II].
'But I had a cork that I was focusing on more. Because of the cork, I wasn't using that leg much and then the calf has come through.'
He said he had been monitoring his calf all week and believed he would play in the match.
State of Origin: Mitchell Pearce called into NSW side with Nathan Cleary ruled out
Mitchell Pearce will play for NSW in the State of Origin decider after Nathan Cleary withdrew due to a right ankle injury on Wednesday. Cleary has been in doubt since sustaining a high-grade lateral ankle sprain in Origin II. The Penrith Panthers playmaker was ruled out after running at training for the first time. NSW coach Brad Fittler confirmed Pearce's inclusion to The Daily Telegraph. “Pearce will be in camp tonight,” Fittler said. “Nathan Cleary is out.” © Mark Kolbe/Getty Images Mitchell Pearce of the Newcastle Knights will return to the NSW Blues Origin team.
Cameron Munster, Anthony Milford and Michael Morgan are likely to come into consideration to be named Maroons fullback for the July 10 clash.
Pictures: Kiwi Rugby League heroes of the last 30 years
Blues say no risk of Origin let down.
NSW five-eighth James Maloney says there is no risk of the Blues becoming complacent heading into Wednesday's State of Origin decider.