Recalled Blues forward Angus Crichton has spruiked a stronger New South Wales showing in the second contest of the series, stating that 'State v State' fixtures were "no arena for being nice".
Following the Blues' 16-10 defeat at the hands of the Maroons in the series opener, NSW consultant Greg Alexander saw fit to claim the shield holders as "too nice".
Having been called back into Brad Fittler's squad to make his first appearance for the Blues since 2020, the 26-year-old claimed that the unwanted tag would be shed under his watch.
“Origin’s all about mongrel,” the 10-time Blues representative told The Sydney Morning Herald.
“You’ve got to look to hurt the opposition when you run and when you tackle. It’s no arena for being nice."
Selected to warm the pine and run on in the 15 jersey, Crichton claimed that while the game would be live when it came to getting his hands dirty, he promised his impact would be matched by those around him in baby Blue.
“I’m smart with that stuff. I’ll always play hard but play within the rules but you can’t cop that sort of treatment. I like our players better than their players. We won’t match them, we’ll be better than them in the physicality (stakes)," the nine-fingered forward said.
“That’s my job coming off the bench, bringing that energy and power through the middle and there won’t be a backward step.”
While Crichton had turned his attention from the grind of clubland, the Temora-born titan's conspicuous contract issues continued to follow him.
With the Roosters still shifting funds around in an effort to fit Storm rake Brandon Smith in their cap for next season, the team from Sydney's east has been unable to register Crichton's latest two-year extension.
Given the former Rabbitoh comes out of contract at the cessation of the season, the likes of the Tigers, Eels and the Storm themselves are said to have reached out this his management.
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However, Crichton remained confident that the deal agreed upon would eventually get the league's tick of approval after gaining reassurance from Roosters coach, Trent Robinson.
“You do see the headlines, it’s not nice to have that hanging over your head,” Crichton said.
“You try not to read into it but it can be unsettling. But I think we’re getting close to a result. I don’t want to go anyway.
“My old man messaged me asking what’s going on with it all. It’s been a testing little period but you come out of it stronger and learn your lessons.
“I’ve talked about it with 'Robbo' and we’re still working through that. We’re still getting towards a result and still talking. I’ll keep all those conversations in-house.”
Kick-off for game two of the 'State v State, Mate v Mate' series is scheduled for 7:50pm (AEST) at Perth's Optus Stadium this Sunday night.