NSW coach Laurie Daley embraces Anthony Watmough after the Blues sealed their first series victory in nine years. Photo: Jonathan CarrollBlues back-rower Anthony Watmough faces the prospect of being rubbed out of game three after being hit with a grade two dangerous throw charge.
Watmough will miss at least three weeks with an early guilty plea, and four if he fights the charge and loses after dumping Nate Myles with a dangerous tackle early in the second half. He has until noon on Thursday to enter a plea. Blues skipper Paul Gallen said teammate James Tamou had contributed to the dangerous tackle.
“The last minute I thought Jimmy Tamou pushed him and I think he contributed to it.
“Three weeks is a bit severe.”
While Blues coach Laurie Daley said he didn’t see the tackle he conceded that Watmough would be “disappointed” if he missed three games.
The judiciary charge did little to dampen the spirits of the Blues with Gallen – named man of the match – left struggling to describe his first Origin series win.
“I’m a bit numb to be honest,” Gallen said. “There are a lot of emotions, relief, happiness.
“We stick to our game plan for about five or 10 minutes and then it opened up for Hokko (halfback Trent Hodkinson).
“We haven’t played that well, but we’ve played tough and we’ve worked hard for each other, especially in defence. If we play well we might have made it easier on ourselves but who cares, we’ve won.”
Daley praised the efforts of winger Will Hopoate who needed “multiple” pain killing injections at half-time to battle on with a damaged shoulder. Daley also heaped praise on Hodkinson, who rose from selection smokie to scoring the winning try to clinch the series for the Blues.
“He played really well,” Daley said of Hodkinson. “He is composed, calm, and that’s what happens in origin. You have to roll through the punches in Origin, sometimes you don’t get too many opportunities to play Origin, he grabbed his opportunity. He brought a lot of composure.”
Daley joined Wayne Pearce as the only Blue to have captained and then coached a series win. After losing last year’s series, Daley said the victory was sweeter as a coach.
“It’s a better feeling as a coach than a player,” Daley said. “That’s how much it means to me. I just said [to the boys] how proud I am. It was an amazing feeling. Our supporters have been disappointed for the last eight years, we had a great to opportunity play well tonight and while we didn’t play well, our courage has been something that’s been very impressive.
“The will to help one another and the will to inspire one another has been enormous. They are a special group.”