Jake Trbojevic hits back after brutal State of Origin calls from Mark Geyer and Darryl Brohman

Some have questioned the NSW captain's place in the team.

Jake Trbojevic has dismissed questions about his NSW captaincy and place in the Blues' State of Origin side, after Mark Geyer and Darryl Brohman both said he should be axed. Trbojevic was a surprise choice for captain of the NSW team in Game 1, after James Tedesco was initially dumped before being brought back in.

The other candidate was Isaah Yeo, but Maguire picked him on the bench and made him co-captain instead. Questions emerged in the aftermath of Origin 1 about whether Trbojevic should be in the NSW team at all - let alone the skipper.

He only played 29 minutes in Game 1, but that was mostly because the Blues were reduced to 12 men after just seven minutes and couldn't afford to have too many props on the ground at once. But that didn't stop the likes of Geyer and Brohman calling for Michael Maguire to pick someone else.

Jake Trbojevic and Isaah Yeo.
Some have questioned whether Jake Trbojevic should be in the NSW State of Origin team. Image: Getty

“I think we’ve got to have a look at our team from Game 1 and I think someone like Jake Trbojevic - who was captain - when you only play him for 25 minutes, I don’t think we can carry a defender," Geyer said. "Like Cam McInnes as well, I don’t think we can carry defenders.

“We need someone like a Mitch Barnett up front, we need Isaah Yeo to play 80 minutes, we need some more variety around the ruck and I think Matt Burton at No.6 and Jarome Luai at No.7 would be a perfect combination. Especially with that big spiral kick that he’s (Burton) shown in the last couple of weeks."

Jake Trbojevic, pictured here in action for NSW in State of Origin 1.
Jake Trbojevic in action for NSW in State of Origin 1. Image: Getty

Many have been calling for Maguire to go with Barnett over Trbojevic, but the Warriors forward was once again overlooked for the 17 for Game 2. Discussing the furore on Wednesday, Trbojevic said he hadn't let it affect him.

"If people think I shouldn't be (captain), that's fine," he said. "I'm not going to apologise for doing my best, that's all I'm going to do. Whether it's good enough or not, time will tell.

"I was maybe a bit standoffish at the start (of the series) because there are some great players there, great captains. It's been a better start to the camp for myself (this time around) ... hopefully I can just keep building."


The Manly forward also admitted he wouldn't object to having his minutes curtailed again in Game 2 if plans need to change. "Any time that you get to play for the Blues is extremely special, it doesn't really matter about the minutes," he said. "I'm just happy to be out there. The way things worked out with being one down (in Game 1) and chasing points, it was just the way it worked out."

The NSW team for Game 2 features full-time club captains Yeo (Penrith), Cameron Murray (Souths) and Stephen Crichton (Bulldogs). Trbojevic is a veteran leader at the Sea Eagles, but Daly Cherry-Evans is the captain (and also Queensland skipper).

"I've got lots of great leaders around me, so that's a positive," Trbojevic said. "If I'm off, there's so many great club captains out there, great leaders, really good players. That puts me at ease a bit, I don't have to try and be something I'm not."

with AAP