Sims puts his hand up for Origin
Posted on 04/25/20 7:43 PM
Tariq Sims hopes his impressive early-season form can win him a State of Origin call.Tariq Sims isn’t shy about expressing his State of Origin ambitions and after building a reputation as one of the NRL’s most feared enforcers he is doing his case no harm.
The St George Illawarra back-rower added to his highlight reel of bone crunching tackles during a starring performance in the Red V’s 16-12 NRL win over South Sydney on Friday night.
Former NSW coach Phil Gould was effusive in his praise of Sims who left several Rabbitohs opposition players rattled during a dominant 75-minute performance.
Two weeks after engaging in an enthralling running battle with the Gold Coast’s Konrad Hurrell Sims was at it again on Friday night.
He laid out Robert Jennings in the 56th minute before snapping Adam Reynolds and forcing him from the field for a concussion test in the final 10 minutes.
While Sims’ name hasn’t been mentioned in the State of Origin debate for several years, he has arguably found career-best form in 2018.
And just like teammates Paul Vaughan and Jack de Belin, the 28-year-old declared himself ready to take the step up.
“One hundred per cent – I’ve made no bones about it, I really want to play State of Origin,” Sims told AAP.
“These next couple of weeks are really important, I want to make sure I show that I’m consistent and physically ready to step up to the Origin arena.
“I’m not trying to look too far ahead and this is my main focus, playing for the Dragons.”
What’s counting against Sims’ push for a maiden Blues jumper is the deep well of back-rowers that coach Brad Fittler is able to draw from.
As well as incumbents Boyd Cordner, Tyson Frizell, Wade Graham, Jake Trbojevic and Josh Jackson, the likes of de Belin and Angus Crichton are knocking on the door, forming a deep queue.
Sims said he felt at home after being moved back to the left-edge back-row spot where he has played almost all of his career.
When he arrived from Newcastle in mid-2016, he was used by coach Paul McGregor as a middle forward purely out of necessity.
However, following Joel Thompson’s departure to Manly, he has been able to shift back to the edge.
“I only played in the middle when I first came here and that was to fill in a spot for a little bit,” Sims said.
“I loved my time in the middle, it’s a different challenge.
“To keep my spot on the edge, I’ve got to keep performing. I’ve still got a lot to do to perform for my team week in and week out.”