Arrow the Maroons new axeman
TIRELESS tackler Jai Arrow has emerged as the Maroons' new axeman, determined to fell the heavy timber of NSW as Queensland look for a way to send the Origin series to a decider.
Arrow played 26 minutes off the bench in his debut in the series opener but he is likely to have an increased role on Sunday night after being the only forward to finish the match with a tackle efficiency of 100 per cent.
The Maroons were their own worst enemies in defence in Game One, needing to make almost 50 tackles more than their rivals following a colossal 53 misses.
Arrow made 22 tackles in his time on the ground and is ready to step up should coach Kevin Walters decide to hand him a greater role.
"(Playing a significant role) is something you want to do as a player but if wherever I fit into this football team, I just want to do my best," he said.
"I'm someone who doesn't like to let anyone down."
Like the original "Axe", Trevor Gillmeister, Arrow gives away plenty of weight to his rivals but has no fear against the big men.
"It doesn't worry me one bit," Arrow said of the Blues forwards charging at him.
"There's a saying: 'The bigger they are, the harder they fall'.
"I'm not the biggest body in the world but I don't let fear get in the road.
"It's either me or them.
"It's just the way I am and always will be."
The Titans lock gives away at least 4kg to the Blues middle forwards tipping the scales of origin, with prop David Klemmer outweighing him by a massive 15kg.
That only inspires Arrow, who wants to measure himself against the best.
"He's played for NSW, he's played for Australia, he's done it all really and he's someone that I have to challenge myself with.
"He's one of the best props in the game and someone I can look up to and challenge myself with and hopefully get it over him."
Arrow's schoolboy coach Greg Lenton, who has seen some of the best players in the NRL come through the Keebra Park nursery, said the lock's lack of size was the only thing that was going to hold him back as a player but his courage has certainly never been in question.
"In the early days, the only concern I had was whether he'd be big enough because in the very early days he was very slight," Lenton said.
"But he just really worked exceptionally hard and did what he needed to do (to bulk up).
"As far as intense football goes, like State of Origin, anyone would love to have him because he will be the guy that will find his way to grab that jersey by the fingernail and pull down the guy that normally would have scored the try.
"If you ever needed somebody there to make that crucial tackle, it was always Jai."