Queensland forward Aidan Guerra has proved he belongs at Origin level.
Aidan Guerra said he felt like a “boy amongst men” when he first entered the Queensland State of Origin camp.
But it’s fair to say that based on the Sydney Rooster’s performances for the Maroons in a losing Origin series, the hard-working backrower definitely belongs at this level.
Guerra was simply outstanding in his third Origin match, scoring a 74th minute try to seal the match for Queensland and then making the break to put Cooper Cronk over the tryline at Suncorp Stadium in the hosts’ 32-8 win on Wednesday night.
The 26-year-old said he felt blessed to play alongside experienced and tough campaigners such as Broncos pair Sam Thaiday and Corey Parker and Maroons enforcer Nate Myles.
“The senior players have obviously been around the game and especially at this level for so long,” Guerra said.
“When I was coming in I felt like I was a boy amongst men. I felt intimidated.
“It didn’t take long for them to welcome me in and that’s a credit to them. That’s really helped me step up to this level.”
Parker was full of praise for Guerra, who completes a deadly left-side attack with Greg Inglis and Darius Boyd.
“He had a role to fill in the side and I think he did a really good job,” Parker said.
“I think this arena is built for him. He’s only a young guy but he’s the next generation coming through for Queensland.”
The Maroons looked far sharper in attack with composed halfback Cooper Cronk running the show.
They scored five tries to blow away the Blues in the second half – three more than the first two matches of the series, won 2-1 by NSW.
“Cooper brings a lot of structure and we missed him in game one (when Cronk broke his arm early),” said Parker, who was making a comeback himself from a facial fracture.
“We’ve been playing a long time under Coops and I thought tonight coming back after four weeks out with a broken arm, he was fantastic.”