State Of Origin: Blues debutant Tyson Frizell speaks to Steve Hart following the series-deciding loss to the Maroons in Game II.
TYSON Frizell, for the briefest moment, thought he had it.
Not only runaway Queensland winger Dane Gagai, but an Origin moment so unforgettable even his future grandchildren would dine out on it.
“I thought I had him, yeah,’’ Frizell shrugged. “But … millimetres out.”
Indeed, of all the moments to define the Blues 2016 Origin campaign, none match that 90m chase Frizell gave as Gagai — a Maroons flyer you would expect to easily best him in a footrace — toed his way up that right touchline.
An extraordinary effort which, despite boasting all the grit of a spaghetti western, would still see the winger slide his way to a try.
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For this was NSW all night. And all series. Millimetres out.
Like that moment in the second half where Frizell, in one of the great Origin debuts, would have earned his second try where it not for the briefest of in-goal fumbles by Blues centre Michael Jennings.
And what if Josh Mansour had managed to hold that pass which initially set Gagai on his way?
“But that was the game right throughout,’’ Frizell conceded. “We were always an inch off.
“Queensland did a good job (but) we let them off the hook there a couple of times. It was a game we knew we could have won.”
Thankfully, Frizell will have the chance to redeem.
For while he may not have managed to stop Gagai, Blues coach Laurie Daley stressed afterwards how the moment would be one replayed in Blues camps for years to come.
Camps Frizell has now played his way into. Quizzed on how the unforgettable chase played out, the St George Illawarra forward continued: “At the start I got checked — by Cooper Cronk, I think — so I thought he was away.
“But the further I got, the more I thought I could get him. Then getting closer to the tryline, I knew I had to make a play or he was going to slide over the tryline.
“And I thought I was going to get there. It’s disappointing I didn’t make that big play and take him out.”
And as for how he found his debut?
“It’s hard to describe the feeling,’’ he said. “In one way you’re happy to be finally representing NSW. But we came here to do a job and we didn’t get the win. That’s hard to take.
“And the game itself, I can’t remember too much. It was a blur. All I wanted to do was play well for the team and the State.
“I didn’t want to take the jersey and be complacent. Be happy with making the team. I wanted to play to the best of my ability. Make a difference and not just be a passenger.”