SportQueensland facing Ponga Origin disaster
'Blackfellas can't say what they want': Anthony Mundine backs State of Origin legend's claim
Rugby league great Timana Tahu - who is employed to help develop future NSW Blues players - claimed Latrell Mitchell and Cody Walker's refusal to sing the anthem cost them their spots.
Newcastle and Queensland superstar Kalyn Ponga has a two-week calf injury, meaning he's racing the clock for next week's State of Origin decider.
The brilliant fullback had scans on Sunday morning, which detected a calf strain that Ponga picked up during Origin II duty. "He is expected to miss the next two weeks," a Knights statement said.
Origin III is 10 days away, meaning the Maroons No.1 is in genuine doubt. Even if he manages to be passed fit, it seems that his preparation would be compromised.
"A week and a half?" legendary Queensland fullback Billy Slater said on the Sunday Footy Show, when told of the two week prognosis.
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'.
"He'll have to get up there drinking that Queensland water, he'll be right. A couple of bananas, he'll be right!
"It's certainly a concern. If it looks like two weeks, well the State of Origin's in a week and a half and he's an integral part of what Queensland need to do in game three. It is concerning."
NSW coach Brad Fittler added: "I reckon he might just beat that [two weeks] by three days."
Five-eighth Cameron Munster could potentially shift to fullback if Ponga is ruled out, though Maroons coach Kevin Walters would be loathe to alter his halves combination.
Seasoned Maroon Michael Morgan is playing out of position in the centres and could switch to No.1, where he's played with distinction for the Cowboys.
Anthony Milford played fullback for Brisbane on Saturday night, showing some signs of form. Corey Norman was a shadow player for Origin II, but has been playing in the halves for the Dragons.
Ponga is an irreplaceable player for Queensland in such a monumental game, having shown that his game-breaking NRL abilities translate beautifully at Origin level.
State of Origin: Matt Gillett leaves training with potential groin injury.
Real or mind games?
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