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Courtesy of The Courier-Mail - By Chris Garry

To bash Daly Cherry-Evans, the Blues will have to get through this guy.

Sam Thaiday’s brilliant form is set to earn him a new Broncos contract and it is his defence that has really improved this year.

Thaiday made an exceptional 33 tackles in Origin I, 11 more tackles than his career average for Queensland and the second highest for the Maroons in Game One only behind Cameron Smith.

Thaiday will defend inside Cherry-Evans this Wednesday night and it will be part of his responsibility to stop the Blues props and left edge runner Ryan Hoffman targeting the halfback.

Cherry-Evans is a good defender but Thaiday and right centre Justin Hodges need to ensure his tackle count is low on Wednesday night so he has the energy to attack.

The Blues won last year’s series-deciding Game Two through relentlessly thumping Cherry-Evans.

Thaiday said he enjoyed the bodyguard aspect of being an edge defender.

“It is something I have done my whole career. I have had Lockyer, Cooper and Daly outside me,” Thaiday said.

“He can look after himself but I am there to give him a hand do as much as I can.

“We (Queensland forwards) can’t afford to start as slow again.

“Our first contact and line speed were a little off but in the second half we were enthusiastic.

“Paul Gallen will be out to prove a point next week too.

“This game will be a forwards battle and for them to have Paul Gallen back bolsters their forward pack immensely.”

Thaiday is a much better player now than he was last year following Wayne Bennett’s reality check to the bench at the start of this season.

He was among Queensland’s best in Game One, a game where their forwards were out-pointed for the majority of the contest.

Thaiday revealed his management and the Broncos were sorting out the finer details of the deal now but nothing was official.

Thaiday turned 30 on Friday and it is expected he will sign a three year deal to stay at Red Hill with his ability as a media performer to help him land third party agreements to allow him to stay at the club.

“My management’s up there at the moment trying to nut out the finer details,” Thaiday said.

“We are trying to work out the length of contract and money etc.

“I haven’t spoken to anyone else. I am only interested in the Broncos.”

Thaiday backed his fellow forward Matt Scott to play Game Two at the MCG despite the prop battling a knee infection.

“He should be fine. The doctor is a little concerned that he had some fluid on his knee so he had a rest,” he said.

“He will be right to go.”

Acknowledgement of Country

Queensland Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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