Blues back-rower Angus Crichton says Felise Kaufusi’s elbowing of his Roosters teammate Sam Walker should have seen him sidelined as the Origin enforcers resume their running battle in Perth.
Crichton, who expects to come out the other side of an unsettling contract saga with a new two-year deal, has vowed to protect his NSW playmakers after being inadvertently involved in the tackle that saw Kaufusi dominate the news cycle two weeks ago.
The Storm veteran for elbowing Walker, his defence arguing Kaufusi’s contact was nothing more than accidental and unavoidable.
Crichton was unsighted as he tackled Kaufusi, who fell onto Walker’s head, but lit the fuse once more for another mano-a-mano clash between the pair after
I definitely think he should’ve copped something for that, Crichton told The Herald. I don’t think there’s a place for that in our game. I wish I’d realised at the time, I would’ve reacted, but I just had no idea it had happened. There’s no way I would’ve copped that if I’d known, no way at all.
Much has been made of Queensland’s successful pressuring of Nathan Cleary’s kicking game and their wrestle in the ruck, Blues advisor Greg Alexander telling Fox Sports on Monday night that NSW played too nice.
Crichton returns to the Blues line-up after he was an Origin I omission, promising to push the boundaries as NSW bid to keep the series alive.
Origin’s all about mongrel, he said. You’ve got to look to hurt the opposition when you run and when you tackle. It’s no arena for being nice.
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).
That’s my job coming off the bench, bringing that energy and power through the middle and there won’t be a backward step.
Meanwhile, Crichton conceded the ongoing drama around the two-year Roosters extension he agreed to last year saw him seek out coach Trent Robinson on his future.
The Tricolours have since signed Storm star Brandon Smith and are yet to register Crichton’s deal due to salary cap constraints.
Crichton has been assured by Robinson his contract will be honoured. He declined to comment on suggestions he may face a slight pay cut to remain in red, white and blue but is confident the situation will be resolved.
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.
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