Daly Cherry-Evans reveals the key to the Maroons’ incredible Origin win was BASHING blues center Matt Burton – with Tino Fa’asuamaleaui as the enforcer
- The Maroons captain said Matt Burton has been identified as a threat by the coaching staff
- Tino Fa’asuamaleaui took it upon himself to shake up Star Center from kickoff
- Burton and Queensland center Dane Gagai was biffed for the second half
- The ruthless tactics paid off, Queensland won 22-12 and the series 2-1
Queensland Captain Daly Cherry-Evans has admitted beating blues center Matt Burton in the Origin playoff was a deliberate ploy.
Before the game, the Maroons designated forward Tino Fa’asuamaleaui as enforcer, and he was more than ready to shake the cage to secure a series win.
“That got us the win. We all stood in a row ready to do anything,” Fa’asuamaleaui said.
“It was about the guys playing hard football and being willing to do anything for their mates.”
Burton blitzed Queensland on his Origin debut in game two at Perth’s Optus Stadium and Billy Slater’s men refused to give the center another chance to demonstrate his class.
Queensland captain Daly Cherry-Evans has admitted beating Blues center Matt Burton in the Origin decider was a deliberate ploy
Before the game, the Maroons designated forward Tino Fa’asuamaleaui as the enforcer, and he didn’t let his condition down
As Burton knocked down man of the match Kalyn Ponga early in the second half, Dane Gagai (pictured) stepped forward to help his teammate
He was a target from kickoff at Suncorp Stadium, with Fa’asuamaleaui getting the green right to terrorize the Bulldogs star.
Fa’asuamaleaui hammered Burton with a late swinging arm in the ninth minute – for which he feared he could be banned in sins.
The Titans star felt Burton “fall” in the tackle and when the center knocked down man of the match Kalyn Ponga early in the second half, it was on.
Dane Gagai unleashed a series of punches that trapped the pair – with Fa’asuamaleaui notably remaining on the field despite keeping Burton in a headlock.
Cherry-Evans said it’s about identifying Burton as a threat — and then nullifying his involvement by any means necessary.
Dane Gagai was trapped for his role in Biff but had the last laugh after Queensland won the series (pictured left, with teammate Valentine Holmes).
The stoush between Gagai and Burton marked the first time punches have been thrown in an Origin match since Paul Gallen spiked some against Nate Myles in 2013
“We had to limit his influence and we did that really well,” he told News Corp.
“We drew a line in the sand where we felt the show would go if we didn’t stop certain things. This team doesn’t look back when we receive instructions. All 17 of us bought into the schedule.
Queensland have won two of their last three series but NSW will welcome Tom Trbojevic and Latrell Mitchell back to the group next year.
Both injured centers were sorely missed as they were the Blues’ two standout players in the 2021 series.
Burton later told reporters “what happens on the field, stays on the field” when asked if he felt he was being targeted by Queensland (pictured, he gets trapped for his brawl with Gagai curled).