As he did during the post match Man of the Match interview, Luke Lewis has put much of his performance down to Mitchell Pearce.
The media rated Mitchell Pearce’s performance average. News.com.au gave him a score of 7/10, while The Sydney Morning Herald rated him just a 6.5. As a comparison, Chris McQueen scored a 6/10 in both publications despite playing very limited minutes.
But unlike the media, Lewis understood exactly the opportunities that MP7 delivered to his forwards all night, saying during an interview with the Australian today that MP7 is “awesome”, and during his Man of the Match interview on Channel Nine last night said a lot of the credit should go to the halfback .
The two players combined all night to hammer away at that right-hand edge, with Lewis making 174 metres off 18 runs and setting up a try — off some beautiful interplay with MP7 — for Jarryd Hayne after four minutes.
It was an old-school halfback’s performance: a performance he’s been pretty consistent with at the Roosters this season.
His ability to take on the line and pass while “in” it is a truly underrated skill which sets him apart from other halfbacks, and he used this ability to great effect to put Lewis through a hole in the second half.
I just wish the media who put together these post-match ratings would look a little closer at a halfback’s game, because Mitchell is playing that role to great effect recently.
At least his team mates know what’s up though.
From The Australian:
LUKE Lewis produced his finest performance in State of Origin last night. And according to the man himself, he owed it largely to halfback Mitchell Pearce. Lewis, who was named man of the match as the Blues won the opening game of the Origin series 14-6 at ANZ Stadium, paid tribute to Pearce in the victorious Blues dressing room as he savoured a gripping win.
“I had the best week ever with all the boys,” Lewis said. “Probably a big thanks for Mitchell Pearce. He got me mentally right.
“He has just been outstanding all week – him and James Maloney getting our game plan right.
“Pearcey was just into me all day, every day at training making sure I was doing this and that.
“That goes to show the real leadership of the bloke. He is 24 and he is awesome.”
Pearce came into Origin I under unrelenting pressure but withstood it with a performance of great maturity.
His combination with five-eighth Maloney went a long way to ensuring the Blues won Origin I for the first time in five years.