Cooper Cronk's arm in line of fire

Cooper Cronk's return for Origin III comes just five weeks after he suffered a broken arm. Picture: GETTY IMAGES
Cooper Cronk's return for Origin III comes just five weeks after he suffered a broken arm. Picture: GETTY IMAGES


After five weeks on the sidelines, Maroons halfback Cooper Cronk can expect plenty of traffic to come his way on his return to Origin on Wednesday night, but Blues coach Laurie Daley ruled out a specific attack on the arm he broke 10 minutes into game one.

Staring down the barrel of their first 3-0 series loss in 14 years, Queensland have rushed Cronk back into their side for game three but doubts remain whether five weeks is sufficient time to recover from a such a serious injury.

Cronk is confident he is fully fit for the match and while the Blues will inevitably test the injury in the early stages, Daley said he won't advocate foul play.

"I don't think you target it but I'm sure the guys will run traffic at him as they [Queensland] do with our halves," Daley said.

"Halves in Origin are always targeted regardless of who they are but to specifically go out there and do that ... no, we haven't even mentioned it at all."

With the series already decided, many are predicting a fiery encounter at Suncorp Stadium after game two was marred by niggling tactics from both sides.

NSW prop James Tamou admitted last week that the Blues were prepared for Queensland to test the NRL's "one punch and you're off" rule and accused the Maroons of instigating the grubby tactics in game two.

Daley said suggestions either side played dirty had been overplayed.

"I think everyone's had their moments in Origin right through Origin history but I don't think anyone's as grubby as the teams are making out," Daley said.

"I can guarantee I've never coached a team or players to go out there and do the wrong thing.

"You've got to understand guys are playing in the heat of the battle and sometimes things happen but in terms of tactics ... when I hear that we're told to go and do things that's categorically wrong.

"I have never, ever coached a team to go out there and play that way."

Doubt over Cronk's fitness is not the only injury cloud hanging over the Maroons, with Johnathan Thurston reportedly picking up a cork at training on Sunday, but Daley said his side hadn't prepared for any other outcome than the pair taking the field.


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