Captain’s Column: State of Origin a thriller as we gear up for a vital game of our own at Salford

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I watched the State of Origin game on Wednesday and it was a great game - it was good to see New South Wales get the win as the underdogs.

It’s a game that we’d usually watch as a group but it was our day off so we didn’t get to do that.

Justin Poore hasn’t stopped telling us that he’s played in State of Origin so we had to watch it anyway! He’s been talking about it a lot and he’s got a new mate here in Taulima who’s always talking about Australia too. They played with Jarrad Hayne so I’m sure when I see them this week it’ll be Jarrad this and Jarrad that.

New South Wales haven’t won it for a while so it was nice to see them win, even though I don’t really support either side.

Paul Gallen threw a few punches in there and, for me, it was good to see some sensible refereeing come from it. Paul would have definitely been sent off in Super League but the referee knew what the occasion was all about and let it go, which was pleasing to see. You don’t want to see players sent off in such a big match.

It was a good, old fashioned game where the players really got stuck in and showed plenty of passion - it’s what the game’s all about.

There’s usually a lot of interest in the NRL in the group anyway. Not just because we have some players who’ve played in the competition, but because Oliver Wilkes runs a bit of a competition where the boys will predict the results over there each week and there’s a winner at the end of the season.

We’ve got a big game ourselves on Monday at Salford and it’s been slightly more upbeat in training this week than previous weeks because of the performance we put in at the weekend.

There’s still a sense of disappointment that we didn’t get the win. We were in a good position, and it’s not often you’re in that kind of position to beat Wigan, so it was disappointing that we didn’t carry it through.

We’re a driven bunch though and we’ll try and take that into Monday’s game. It’s a must win for us if we have any aspirations of making the top eight. It’ll be tough, no doubt, with a new coach in charge and the things that are happening at Salford, but we need to get the win.

We’ll have a bit of a change of routine this week with the game being on a Monday night. It is just another game to us, but there are a few slight changes with training and not playing on a Sunday. It’ll be nice to play at their new ground, too.

I rolled my ankle against Wigan but I’ve been back in training and should be fine to play in it.

- Danny.