Newspaper article The Northern Star (Lismore, Australia)

Bennett: Give Joe a Go for Qld

Newspaper article The Northern Star (Lismore, Australia)

Bennett: Give Joe a Go for Qld

Article excerpt

RUGBY LEAGUE: Wayne Bennett says Joe Ofahengaue is ready for State of Origin after watching the Broncos prop produce a brutal form surge amid the most harrowing ordeal of his rugby league career.

As Ofahengaue's partner wages a battle with breast cancer, the Bronco will continue his quest for a maiden Queensland jumper in tomorrow night's clash against the Sharks in Sydney.

The Maroons team for Origin II is named on Monday and Ofahengaue has emerged as a game two bench bolter after charging for a total of 1097m in his past nine matches for the Broncos.

If anyone is qualified to assess an Origin player, it is Bennett. He served three terms as Queensland coach, masterminding the side's first 3-0 clean sweep of NSW in 1988.

With Queensland on the hunt for size and aggression after a midfield mauling in the MCG opener, Bennett believes Ofahengaue's 114kg frame and fitness can make him the Maroons' interchange X-factor.

Queensland coach Kevin Walters will be at Southern Cross Group Stadium tomorrow night when Ofahengaue confronts Cronulla's Origin forward quartet Andrew Fifita, Paul Gallen, Luke Lewis and Wade Graham. …

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