Queensland Maroons legend Cameron Smith couldn’t be happier for Josh Papalii after the under-fire prop silenced his critics with a commanding performance in the Origin decider.
Papalii had had an uncharacteristically quiet State of Origin series before Game 3, having made 37 tackles and played for just 48 minutes across the first two matches.
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But in Wednesday’s decider at Suncorp Stadium, the front rower ran for 93 metres, made 19 tackles, and had two tries disallowed by the video referee.
The 30-year-old had to stand up after the loss of Lindsay Collins and that’s exactly what he did, making every minute count out in the middle.