Jacob Lillyman tips hardman Dylan Napa to stop Blues
QUEENSLAND prop Jacob Lillyman believes Maroons selectors could do a lot worse than call on Roosters hit-man Dylan Napa to combat New South Wales' bench aggression for next month's Origin decider in Brisbane.
Blues coach Laurie Daley has opted for four big forwards on the bench in the first two games, while Queensland has used Cowboys utility Michael Morgan and three forwards - Josh McGuire, Matt Gillett and Lillyman.
While Morgan enjoyed some nice touches in game one, he didn't appear until after the hour mark in game two and had little involvement.
The NSW bench, on the other hand, played a key role, with Trent Merrin and young firebrand David Klemmer the standouts.
Lillyman said playing Napa, who stands 194cm and weighs 109kg, could be decisive at Suncorp Stadium.
"Big Dylan, he's been playing some good footy the big fella," Lillyman told APN.
"He was 18th man (for game one) - he's close.
"I'm sure if he gets called up he'll do a job."
While Klemmer was criticised by Maroons veteran Corey Parker for being "disrespectful" with his confrontational approach in game one, Lillyman said he had been impressed with the Canterbury front-rower's aggression.
"He (Klemmer) is a young bloke and he's taken his opportunity with both hands," the Warriors prop said.
"He's stepped up and played really well the first two games.
"In game three he'll certainly be one to watch and try to nullify."
Lillyman said the Queenslanders were "probably the most down I've seen an Origin side after a loss" in Melbourne, but added he was confident the team would hit back in front of their home fans.
"We were really keen to wrap that one up," he said.
"But as Mal (Queensland coach Mal Meninga) said, it's not over yet."
Some of the players certainly bounced back in their club games at the weekend.
Johnathan Thurston played a blinder for the Cowboys, Matt Gillett, Josh McGuire and Sam Thaiday were outstanding for the Broncos in their courageous win over the Storm, and Lillyman himself played strongly off the bench in the Warriors 36-14 win over the Titans. "I was a bit disappointed the coach wanted to start me off the bench," he said. "I wasn't too keen on it, but I still got plenty of game time and got through my work (making 204m and 29 tackles).
"I just like being out there from the start."