Queensland skipper Daly Cherry-Evans today said he was willing to have a gentlemen’s agreement with NSW captain James Tedesco ahead of Wednesday’s series-opener, as fears over the milking of penalties continue to grow.
Ever since the high-shot crackdown was introduced in Magic Round, the game has been marred by incidents of players staying down after copping high contact to give officials more time to recognise foul play.
Saifiti, who’s set to run out for his sixth Blues appearance, would hate to see those incidents arise in the Origin arena.
“I hope (a gentlemen’s agreement has taken place). I wouldn’t be doing that – not in State of Origin anyway,” Saifiti said on Nine’s 100% Footy.
“It’s a bad look in the NRL and I don’t think any of the boys in either team will be doing it.”
NSW coach Brad Fittler sprung a surprise when he picked Manly inspiration Jake Trbojevic to partner Saifiti in the front row.
The Sea Eagles workhorse has spent the vast majority of his time in the NRL, Origin and Test arenas playing in the back row, typically at lock, but Fittler opted to hand the No.13 jumper to key Penrith cog Isaah Yeo.
Despite Trbojevic being denied his primary position in the Blues side, Saifiti backed Fittler’s selection call.
“The way Jake plays – he’s obviously a real good ball-player but we’ve got Isaah Yeo there, too,” Saifiti said.
“We’ve touched on it a little bit (in camp). (Jake) brings that ball-playing and he’s a real good tackle and the way their forwards run in the middle – I think that’s going to be real useful for us.”
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