Johnathan Thurston during a Queensland State of Origin team training session.
Johnathan Thurston during a Queensland State of Origin team training session. DAVE HUNT

Thurston admits watching Origin from sidelines was tough

WATCHING State of Origin from the sidelines is not something Johnathan Thurston has had to do since he was 22 years old.

That's what made game one so tough for the Queensland maestro.

Not only did the Maroons lose the series-opener against NSW, but Thurston also broke his streak of 36 consecutive Origin games.

He made his debut in game one of 2005 but a shoulder injury ruled him out of his first game in 12 years in Origin I of this series.

He was able to watch the game alongside coach Kevin Walters at Suncorp Stadium, but it was not an experience he enjoyed.

"I was up in the box with the coaching staff and it's quite a view from there," he said.

"You can see everything unfolding. It gives you a bit of an appreciation of what goes on on the field and in dissecting our game plan.

"But it was very difficult watching on the sidelines for the first game and to not be a part of the game."

Thurston proved his fitness for next week's showdown in Sydney by playing his first game for the Cowboys in two months last Saturday. He said he was relieved to get through with his shoulder unscathed.

Now he can turn his attention to saving the series in what will be his final year of representative football.

"It's about looking at the areas we need to improve, both with the ball and defensively as well," he said of Origin II.

"We've had a bit of a look and we know where we need to be better. We need to be a whole lot better than what we were in game one.

"As a team we know what we need to do and what we need to get through during the week to make sure we're fully prepared both mentally and physically. We need to be better in those areas."

News Corp Australia


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