Sitting on the sidelines was hard to take for Mitchell Pearce.
He could have been out there playing Origin on Sunday, helping the blues to smash the maroons.
He selflessly ruled himself out with injury. It’s what he had to do.
But he couldn’t be any prouder of the way NSW performed.
“I thought they were amazing,” Pearce smiled.
“I thought Jimmy Maloney was the best player on the field as far as his game management and he gave the boys some real confidence.
“The obvious ones were Trbojevic and Tedesco so it was great to watch.”
Not to mention his teammate Daniel Saifiti who had a blistering debut.
“I was super proud of him,” added Pearce.
“We were all talking about it over a coffee about how well he played.
“I thought his first carry he set the intention and (Tyson) Frizell’s try that got scored come off the back of Safs play the ball, so he was enormous.”
Despite talk he didn’t want to play Origin this year, the Knights captain again set the record straight.
He would’ve loved to be back in the Origin arena.
“There’s all this conjecture, of course I’d like to play,” he said.
Now to the Origin decider.
Pearce has confirmed he would like a crack at game three.
But after a big blues win… the question is will he be back in the mix?
He hopes so.
“They just had a massive win and I’m not sure which way they’d be looking,” Pearce commented.
“I’ve put my hand up we’ll just wait and see what happens.”