Walters’ Origin record must make him worth a gamble. Image: AAP Image/Darren England
Walters’ Origin record must make him worth a gamble. Image: AAP Image/Darren England

Kevvie’s left-field option: ‘I’d be ringing him all day’

Kevin Walters faces a massive challenge to spark a Maroons revival following their Origin II thrashing, but a left-field choice could be the "circuit breaker" he needs.

The Monday Bunker panel dissected NSW's 38-6 demolition of Queensland, which leaves the Maroons needing a serious selection spark to rebound for the decider.

"I'd be ringing Cameron Smith all day today," Monday Bunker host Tim Gilbert said.

"If I was Kevin Walters I would do everything I possibly could to get Cameron Smith to come back for one last hurrah, one last smash at NSW because I think they need a circuit breaker.

"I don't think that team can beat NSW."

A Smith return would rank alongside Allan Langer's famous comeback for Queensland in the 2001 series, a point not lost on The Courier-Mail's Mike Colman.

"I think there's probably about as much chance of Alfie coming back," he said.

"But then again we said last time Alfie wouldn't come back."

Colman said the tide had turned in the wake of NSW's brilliant victory, with NSW coach Brad Fittler in the box seat to claim a second straight series.

"Fittler in the space of a week has gone from a bloke who seemed to be grasping at straws to having so many great players put their hands up, whereas poor old Kevvie - what's he going to do?"

While Walters might not have a stack of options at his disposal to ignite Queensland, his counterpart Fittler does as he weighs up his biggest decision for the decider: how he'll replace injured halfback Nathan Cleary.

Mitchell Pearce's name has already been thrown up for a stunning recall as he chases State of Origin redemption, while Origin II stars Jack Wighton and Wade Graham are also contenders.

"It's a tough choice Fittler's going to have to make," Paul Crawley said.

"He made the right calls this time so we'll trust him to make the right one. But bringing Mitchell Pearce in for the third game, you would imagine subconsciously it creates all this theatre about Pearce's return to Origin and is it necessarily the right thing to be taking in when they've come off such a great win?"

The Daily Telegraph's Fatima Kdouh added: "Brad Fittler seems to like combinations and people who have a relationship - Mitchell Pearce and Maloney won a premiership together in 2013 so they know each other's games really well."

News Corp Australia


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