NRL legend Brent Tate believes Brad Fittler should not have met with referee Ashley Klein following the series opener.
NSW came desperately close to securing victory and Fittler made his feelings known regarding the officiating in the post-match press conference.
‘Freddy’ highlighted the ruck speed as an area the Maroons manipulated and held a meeting with referee Ashley Klein highlighting other moments he believed went against his side including Lindsay Collins holding Junior Paulo in the scrum prior to Cherry-Evans’ try.
Stream every game of every round of the 2022 NRL Telstra Premiership Season Live & Ad-Break Free During Play on Kayo. New to Kayo? Try 14-days free now.
“I don’t like the fact we are talking about Ashley Klein, I don’t like the fact that Freddy has met with him, I think at the end of the day it is a really tough one,” Tate said on Fox Sports News.
“The refereeing and the officiating doesn’t determine the game, you do, by going out there and getting the job done.
“How hard you run and how hard you fight to get a quick play the ball, which determines if you get a penalty or not or if you have quick ruck speed.
“That is on the Blues and sometimes you should just let that go and try and be better like they will in the second game.
“Is it Blues whinging? Absolutely it is so let’s hope it doesn’t influence the outcome too much.”
Now, after the officiating in the series opener has been heavily scrutinised, Tate believes the tone of the game will be set in the first ten minutes with Klein’s officiating being a “fascinating” factor.
“It is going to be fascinating to see how he refs the match because there has been so much in the media and so much talk around ‘Freddy’ Fittler meeting with him,” Tate said.
“I think early on we will have a real indication of how he will ref the match, I still hope it is a free-flowing match, that is what Origin is about.
MORE NRL NEWS
BURNING QUESTIONS: Freddy’s big gamble; key positional battle to decide Origin
EXPERT ORIGIN TIPS: Freddy’s ‘masterstroke’, Blues great’s his big ‘doubt’ for QLD
“Origin is about pushing the boundaries, it is about trying to pinch every advantage you can and both teams will be pushing the boundaries of the ruck speed and playing off-side, so that is what Origin is about.”
Meanwhile, the Maroons legend believes the pressure will be on Cameron Munster after a man of the match performance in the series opener.
The Blues forwards will be looking to swamp the Storm star at all times, but Tate still believes the five-eighth can get the job done.
“I think every time he gets the ball there will be a lot of pressure on him, I expect his last play and kicking options he is going to have a fair bit of heat coming from the NSW forwards and I’d expect him to be very defensively busy,” Tate said.
“There is a bit of pressure on Cam Munster, even though he played so well in the first game, they have nominated him, he’d expect a big performance from himself so there is that extra added pressure.
“But the great thing about the great players is that they always get the job done so I expect Cam to go out there and live up to the hype and expectation that he’d put on himself.”
Get all the latest NRL news, highlights and analysis delivered straight to your inbox with Fox Sports Sportmail. Sign up now!!
If Munster delivers, the Cowboys, Warriors and Broncos flyer believes he could etch his name in Queensland folklore alongside Maroons legends.
“If Cam really wants to become the Origin player that we all know he is and I guess add to that legacy that he has got, if he goes out and plays well tonight it is going to be a real big carrot for him,” Tate said.
“It will go down in folklore almost like we talk about some of the Queensland legends, Cam can really elevate this Cameron 2.0 into another stratosphere if that is possible.
“Play well tonight and that legend grows.”