State of Origin: NSW Brad Fittler coach fires warning at Queensland, Warriors rookie star Reece Walsh

  • 25/06/2021

NSW coach Brad Fittler has kicked off the mind games heading into game two of the State of Origin series on Sunday, and he's set his sights on NZ Warriors rookie star Reece Walsh.

Fittler has accused Walsh of milking penalties by lying down after being hit in a tackle to gain the referee's favour.

The tactic is at odds with Queensland captain Daly Cherry-Evans' gentleman's agreement laid out before game one, where the Manly half urged players not to attempt to earn such advantages.

"One thing he will be coming to grips with is that this is another level," Fittler tells Australia's Nine News. "Hopefully he has read DCE’s gentleman’s agreement. 

"He is playing with the big boys now, and that’s the way it should be played in Origin."

The 18-year-old breakout sensation has received a shock callup to the starting Queensland side, as the Maroons look for answers in the wake of their 50-6 demolition at the hands of NSW in the opening game in Townsville.

Players lying down after being hit has become prevalent in the NRL amid the recent crackdown on high tackles, and Fittler is weary of it infiltrating the Origin field.

"It is (a bad look), especially at this level," he says.

"Going into the last game, Daly Cherry-Evans responsibly came out and spoke about the gentleman’s agreement. We just hope it extends to this game as well."

Despite having just seven games of first-grade NRL experience under his belt, Walsh will be tasked with helping fill the attacking void left by injured Kalyn Ponga.

Game two will be played at Brisbane's Suncorp Stadium.