Andrew Fifita

Nervous baby wait for Fifita

The Australian international was hoping for an Origin II victory to ease the pressure at the end of the series but the Maroons' win in Game Two has ensured there's still plenty of stress on the 28-year-old heading into the clash. 

While Fifita has been guarded from the media in preparation for the all-important decider, spoke to the Sharks prop about the situation off the paddock prior to Origin II. 

"When the doctor is saying Nik is 39 weeks it's a bit worrying but we've been prepared for it and knew it would be close," Fifita told 

Teen tasked with getting Maroons Fifita-ready

When the Blues posted a record winning score against the Maroons in Game One it was Fifita who was crowned Man of the Match after a dominant performance that drew comparisons with Queensland's favourite front-rower Arthur Beetson, but the Maroons were much better prepared for Game Two.

In the lead-up to the clash in Sydney the likes of Coen Hess and Dylan Napa took turns emulating the bulk and running style of Fifita during training sessions but for Sunday's final opposed session the role of Fifita was played by 17-year-old Broncos under-20s prop Payne Haas.

Fifita's Origin regret: I wish I'd got more ball

Fifita knew he'd be a marked man heading into the high-pressure Sydney clash and while he feels the extra attention on him opened some opportunities for teammates, he still wishes he'd had more opportunities with the ball.

"I wish I got more ball, that was the only thing," Fifita said immediately after last Wednesday's loss.

"I feel I never got much ball in that game. In saying that I think my team and everyone knew I was a marked man… I just would have loved to have had some ball and do my job for my team."

Fifita to 'memory bank' Maroons baiting

Fifita, whose Game Two was noticeably quieter than his Game One pyrotechnics, also said he has no issue with the Maroons putting extra effort into keeping him quiet.

Their tactic of swamping him opened up chances for his fellow forwards and earned the Blues a couple of penalties – the only problem was how his team failed to manage the game in the second half, he said.

"Yeah I did feel it (them putting extra attention on me) to be honest," Fifita said after the game.

NSW series win within reach: Fifita

For he and 16 other NSW teammates – 13 of which are yet to experience a series win – the opportunity could not be any more perfect with the Blues fielding an unchanged line-up for the first time in over two decades.

While much of the talk heading into State of Origin II has centred around how Queensland are going to contain Fifita and the Blues forward pack in a bid to level the series, the man himself has other ideas. 

Former Blue labels Fifita the best yet

Plucked from obscurity after just 14 first grade games for North Sydney, Johnston was one of six debutants rushed into the New South Wales team for Game Two in 1983 but was at Lang Park three years earlier as a member of the NSW under-18s team, a night forever remembered as the one and only time Beetson ever played for Queensland.

Fifita front of mind for new-look Maroons

The new-look Maroons took to the training field in formation for the first time this week with Darius Boyd running in the uncustomary position of left centre inside debutant Valentine Holmes, Billy Slater reclaiming his right to bark orders from the back and Jarrod Wallace, Tim Glasby and Coen Hess getting used to trucking the ball forward through the middle third.

Fifita honoured to play in Beetson's mould

As part of his reconnecting with the history of the Kangaroos, Meninga paired his modern day players with those who were selected in the team of the century.

In the team room in Canberra, Darius Boyd's name was placed alongside Clive Churchill's, Cooper Cronk shared space with Andrew Johns and Fifita – a four-time Indigenous All Stars representative – was for the first time associated with an Immortal of the game.

Fifita's stunning off-field generosity

The 27-year-old is a true believer - that what you give comes back to you - and makes time every week for the youngsters he coaches while also making regular pilgrimages to hospitals and the like to help in any way he can.

Fifita also believes it's important to never forget where you came from and his time growing up in poverty in western Sydney and some tough times after deciding to make the trek out to Griffith as a 16-year-old have paved the way for his current determination to always give back wherever he can.

Andrew Fifita fined $20,000

He has also been warned that any further material breach of the NRL rules is likely to result in his registration being cancelled.