Tarq Sims’ blue debut in State of Origin cauldron

BLEED BLUE: Gerringong's Tariq Sims takes a hit-up during Wednesday's State of Origin match at Suncorp Stadium. Photo: Dave Hunt
BLEED BLUE: Gerringong's Tariq Sims takes a hit-up during Wednesday's State of Origin match at Suncorp Stadium. Photo: Dave Hunt

REMORSEFUL NSW debutant Tariq Sims, from Gerringong, wants his form to warrant a State of Origin return next year after a moment of madness swung the game in Queensland's favour during the series finale.

Sims, who was the 13th debutant Blues coach Brad Fittler used during the Origin series, was penalised for tackling Dragons teammate Ben Hunt while his side was in possession as Queensland scored off the next set and eventually mowed down a tiring NSW.

In an otherwise solid debut, it will be the bizarre moment Sims will want to forget after earning his first NSW cap six years after being on the cusp of an Origin call-up as an 18th man.

Asked whether he would like the chance again to right his first Origin wrong, Sims said: "No shit."

"He blew a penalty and it’s a penalty – I’m not going to dwell too much on it.

“These things happen in footy.

“Unfortunately I gave a penalty away and they were good enough to score.

"[Hunt's] a really good tackler.

“Obviously he’s not going to put on the biggest shots but he did what he was taught to do.

“He got underneath the ball and picked me up and flipped me on my back.

"We can argue about it until the cows come home. The penalty went against us there."

NSW players remonstrated with referees Gerard Sutton and Ashley Klein that Sims should have received the penalty given Hunt's lingering tackle, but were left to rue the brain snap as the Dragons hardman bizarrely took Hunt out of the defensive line.

Valentine Holmes scored only moments later and Daly Cherry-Evans sent 50,000 Queenslanders into raptures with what proved the winning try only minutes later.

WINNERS: Tariq Sims (back row, third from right) and his NSW team mates celebrate winning the 2018 State of Origin series. Photo: Darren England

WINNERS: Tariq Sims (back row, third from right) and his NSW team mates celebrate winning the 2018 State of Origin series. Photo: Darren England

Fittler has been effusive in his praise of Sims throughout the series after the 28-year-old, who recovered from two leg breaks earlier in his career, was named 18th man for the wins in Melbourne and Sydney.

"You obviously want to play as many games as you can for the Blues but they’re not going to get given to you," Sims said.

"I’ve got to go out there and earn it.

“I have to play a good style of football for the Dragons and put myself in contention for the Blues next year.

"I had a few goals out there I wanted to achieve and I achieved some of them.

“One of them was to get a kick-off and to run it into the teeth of Queensland and I got to tick that straight off the bucket list in the second half."