Prop James Tamou rates his NSW fullback over his club captain.
New South Wales prop James Tamou has continued the verbal barbs between his team and the Queenslanders ahead of Origin III by saying Jarryd Hayne is better than Johnathan Thurston.
It is a fair claim to make from Tamou based off Thurston’s record at the top of the game alone.
He is a two-time Dally M Medal winner, he also won the Golden Boot in 2011 for the best international player in rugby league and he holds the point scoring record in State of Origin.
However, Tamou says Hayne is more influential than his North Queensland Cowboys teammate Thurston.
“I think he’s definitely better,’’ Tamou said.
“He’s just one of those talents that’s just unreal, the way he just plays the game, he single-handedly picked them off in the first game, I haven’t seen that performance from any of their players in a while, in the last few years.
“He’s just that good and we need him at his best and at 100 per cent on Wednesday night.’’
Thurston has more than just Tamou’s choice words to worry about ahead of the dead-rubber game after sending a shock through the Maroons camp by suffering a corked thigh at training.
Tamou continued to reflect on Hayne’s performance in the winning Blues series, the first time the team has managed to do in eight years, adding he had never seen anything like the Parramatta fullback’s performance in Game I.
“At such a high level of intensity and such a high level game, no I haven’t (seen a better performance),’’ Tamou said.
“I was just really impressed.
“I knew how good he was but not that good. I think a lot of people watching the game realised how good he was.
“Obviously Parra players knew of that ability but when he was playing at Parra and outside looking in you have no idea until he goes in to that spotlight of Origin and plays like that.’’
Hayne will play his 20th game for NSW at Origin level this week as the Blues look to wrap up a compelling series whitewash.