State of Origin - QLD v NSW: Game 3
State of Origin - QLD v NSW: Game 3

Big Tino adds Origin glory to premiership ring in dream year

AH, TINO. You’ve done it again.

Gympie’s rugby league superstar added State of Origin glory to a premiership ring in a dream year at the top level last night, putting in a powerhouse performance to help his Queensland Maroons to a thrilling 20-14 series-clinching win over NSW at Lang Park.


Much was made of Fa’asuamaleaui’s heated scuffle with Blues prop Payne Haas in Game II a week ago, when NSW got the better of the young Maroons and looked to put their stamp on the series.

The old rivals were the talk of sporting fanatics across the country, who wondered which of them would come out on top in the third and final stanza for 2020.

National satirical news site The Betoota Advocate made the spotlight even brighter, throwing playful jabs at Tino and his Gympie background in their humorous coverage of the fiery brawl.

But it was the boy from Widgee with the much better game last night, amassing 140 metres in his 56 minutes on the park.

His workmanlike effort was acclaimed by rugby league minds all over, with journalist Troy Whittaker rating his game an 8 out of 10.

“The fireworks didn’t quite go off, but the young lock was enormous in what will surely be the first of many series. Never overawed and doesn’t know how to take a backward step,” Whittaker said.

Nick Campton also had Tino among Queensland’s best with a 7 and said he decisively won his battle with Haas, who scored much more lukewarm reviews for his Game III performance.

Perhaps the most glowing assessment came from Maroons icon Johnathan Thurston, who raved about the 20-year-old’s performance and declared he couldn’t wait to see Tino and Haas lock horns at Origin level for the next 10 years.

Tino and the Maroons made sure it was an Origin series win for the ages last night, with the hope of plenty more to come.

But first, it’s on to the Gold Coast Titans.