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Kick stats worry JT

Monday, June 16, 2014

GOLD COAST, Qld - Of all the damning statistics that faced Johnathan Thurston in the wake of Queensland's State of Origin game one loss, one hurt the most for the Maroons playmaker.

And it wasn't missed tackles.

Much has been made of Thurston's defensive effort — or lack thereof — against the Blues after being successfully targeted by NSW strike weapon Jarryd Hayne.

Sure, Thurston was hurting from six missed tackles — two leading to NSW's only tries — in game one after being left black and blue by a flying Hayne.

However, Thurston was kicking himself after missing two crucial conversion attempts in NSW's 12-8 win.

"That can be the difference between winning and losing," Thurston said.

"I have had a couple of weeks where I have been shocking with the boot but I have been working extremely hard.

"What's disappointing is when you put so much effort into it and there's little reward.

"But I am confident if I keep working hard hopefully I will bang a few more over."

Thurston said he would work on goal kicking extras in the lead-up to Origin II on Wednesday night.

"I just need to make sure my routine is the same and striking the ball where I need to," he said.

Critics may also suggest Thurston should hit the tackle bags at their Gold Coast camp after missing a total of 16 tackles in his past three games against Hayne, including NRL games.

Starting backrower Chris McQueen and reserve Ben Te'o have been identified as "bodyguards" for Thurston in defence but Queensland teammate Matt Gillett said the star pivot did not need any help.

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