GREG Inglis is poised to break one of State of Origin’s longest standing records, set by the man many compare him with — Maroons coach Mal Meninga.
In 1994, Meninga ended his acclaimed Origin career with 27 line breaks, a mark that stands today as the best of any Origin player.
Considering that Inglis has been granted a roving commission for Game Two on Wednesday night, the Rabbitohs captain could break Meninga’s amazing record at the MCG.
Meninga backed Inglis to break the record and believes his star centre is a footballing great.The Origin careers of Inglis and Meninga are remarkably similar.
The only major difference is in tries scored, with Inglis bagging 15 to Meninga’s six.
The former Canberra great was a much better creator, with nine try assists compared with Inglis’s six, and 13 line break assists to Inglis’ seven.
Meninga also had an incredible 71 offloads in his 32 games compared with Inglis’ seven in 25 games.
Meninga laughed when told Inglis was just two linebreaks away from him.
He said Inglis was a great footballer who should be remembered for his ability to perform at a high standard in multiple key positions.
“In terms of pure footballers, Greg is one of the best I have ever seen,” Meninga said.
“It is not about how good he is at centre. With Greg you think of him as just a great footballer full stop.
“He plays fullback for the majority of the season and has also won a Clive Churchill Medal at five-eighth and then he is playing well at centre for Australia and Queensland.”
Inglis has not carved it up in an Origin game in several series but Meninga said the criticism of his gun centre was unjustified.
Inglis has scored one try in his past eight Origin games. His last four-pointer came in Game Two of the 2013 series.
Inglis has been highly involved at Maroons training, spending time on the wing and at fullback, as well as centre.
Meninga said the reaction to Inglis’ Game One performance, one he did while suffering tonsillitis, was unfair.
“What he did in Game One for the team was enormous,” Meninga said.
“People judge him on that. We judge him on his effort because his defence was outstanding.
“All the great ones suffer. People judge all the time.
“All that matters is what his teammates and the coach staff think.
“That is the real judgment on how well he is going.”