Fittler prepares to unleash Peachey magic for Blues
THEY were the 18 minutes of magic that convinced Brad Fittler that Tyrone Peachey was the man to wear the NSW No.17 jumper.
Now they're the blueprint the Panthers maestro could work from in his State of Origin debut as he targets Queensland's fatiguing forwards.
Up until now it's been unclear how Fittler plans to use Peachey in the Origin series opener in Melbourne on Wednesday night.
For a large part, Fittler included the 26-year-old on the bench as insurance in case left centre James Roberts suffered a recurrence of his niggling Achilles injury, one of his second-rowers goes down or if hooker Damien Cook needs a spell.
However Peachey has hinted that if all goes according to plan, and he's not needed as injury cover, he'll be injected into the game as a roving middle-third player in a bid to exploit holes which open up as exhaustion sets in.
It's a role inspired by his game-winning cameo against South Sydney in round two.
"You know that game where I came off the bench and played in the middle and roamed around, (Fittler) really thought I went well there," Peachey said.
In that match, Peachey spent several minutes pacing up and down the sideline, with the Panthers Stadium crowd chanting his name, before being injected into the action in the 62nd minute.
Once on, he jumped into dummy-half, first receiver and generally hung around the ruck looking for opportunities before scoring the match-winning try in the 76th minute from a Nathan Cleary offload.
Peachey said he was ready to accept Fittler's roving licence but said he was prepared to cover any position in case of an injury emergency.
"Whether I'm playing hooker or maybe lock or half, I'm not too sure. I don't think he's too sure either. It's just the way the game pans out and we'll see what happens," Peachey said.
"I don't really care where I play, as long as I'm in the Blues camp. I'll play whatever."
Cook said he expected to go the full 80 minutes, however Peachey could come on and provide some respite.
Over the previous month, Peachey has worked closely at Panthers training with Blues advisor and Penrith great Greg Alexander about the finer points of dummy-half play.
"He's jumped in at nine, he's jumped in out in the centres, I think he's more than comfortable to cover any position," Cook said.
"I think it'll just be how the game goes. A lot of teams have a utility on the bench these days. If I have to play 80, I've been doing it at club level and I plan on doing it here if I need to."