Thurston set to miss Four Nations
JOHNATHON Thurston looks certain to miss this autumn’s Four Nations in England and Wales after badly injuring his knee in Queensland’s series-winning State of Origin victory over New South Wales yesterday.
Australia’s first-choice scrum-half was carried off in the second half in Brisbane, but that did not stop the Maroons winning 34-24 to claim their sixth series in a row. It was a fitting send-off for their captain, Darren Lockyer, who was playing in his final Origin match.
Queensland effectively had it won in the first 30 minutes, with tries from Greg Inglis, Sam Thaiday, Cameron Smith and Jharel Yow Yeh, but NSW fought back before half-time with tries from Anthony Minichiello and Akuila Uate. Despite Queensland’s dominance, that gave the Blues some hope for the second half, especially when Thurston had to go off. But, with Cooper Cronk taking over seamlessly at half-back, that hope was snuffed out by tries from Billy Slater and a second from Inglis.
NSW came close to achieving respectability with late tries from Jarrad Hayne and Greg Bird, but there was never any risk of them ending their long wait for a series win.
Queensland’s only frustration was that they could not contrive a farewell try for their captain, although Lockyer was as prominent as ever in much of their best work.
Matt Parish, the NSW assistant coach, is now free to take up his new job at Salford after his appointment last month.
Salford will carry on under the coaching of Phil Veivers against Hull tomorrow, after winning four of their last five matches and giving themselves hopes of making the play-offs.
The England captain, Jamie Peacock, has signed a one-year contract extension at Leeds. Peacock’s start to the season was delayed after major knee surgery, but he has proved his fitness recently with some strong displays.
Clint Greenshields has agreed to stay for another year at the Catalan Dragons. The 29-year-old Australian full-back is already the club’s leading try-scorer since entering Super League.
Josh Perry’s badly interrupted first season with St Helens is over. The prop, who has been plagued with injuries, has torn his hamstring.