Turvey: Pearce can rewrite his Origin story
Mitchell Pearce's State of Origin history has become the most-talked about element of this year's series. But one NSW great reckons the Blues halfback is ready to bury that past.
Steve "Turvey" Mortimer attended NSW training on Monday and shook hands with fellow No.7 Pearce, the often-maligned star who has been handed the chance to exorcise his Origin demons and help guide NSW to a series triumph.
The recalled halfback has won just five of 18 Origin games with the Blues and never been part of a winning series.
He will be under intense pressure but looked relaxed and confident during a two-hour NSW training session inside Sydney Olympic Park.
"I think this will be the best year of Mitchell's life," Mortimer said. "He will really enjoy playing for the Knights and the mighty Blues.
"If Mitchell is successful in the third game and we've won, then all those other games that we lost will be in the past.
"A win would make us change how we think of Mitchell at Origin level. It would be lovely to see Mitchell have a victory.
"This is now, not the past.
"In 1985 when we first one, I was 28 years old. I guess I was the old fellow in the side, a mentor. Mitchell is now 30. He would have that same role."
An emotional Mortimer memorably fell to the SCG turf in 1985 after leading NSW to their first series win.
"I have watched Mitchell when he has played for NSW and there weren't many victories," Mortimer said.
"But now he had moved to Newcastle, I have watched a lot of him play and have been really impressed.
"The biggest difference between game one and two was James Maloney. I think he is the man to beat Queensland.
"The most important thing, though, is no complacency. That is the key for NSW to win."