Tariq Sims regrets Origin brain snap
Tariq Sims has been putting big shots on all year but one on Wednewsday night he'd love to take back.
With NSW leading on the scoreboard but out on their feet deep into the second half of State of Origin III, Sims was hit in a strong tackle by Queensland utility Ben Hunt.
The Blues debutant took exception to the extra attention he was getting from his St George Illawarra teammate and drove Hunt into the turf himself after playing the ball.
The referee had no choice but to penalise Sims and minutes later Maroons captain Billy Slater set up Valentine Holmes's second try of the night to level the scores.
It was arguably the turning point of the match.
Asked if he would change his reaction, Sims said: "No sh*t.
"He blew a penalty and it's a penalty. I'm not going to dwell too much on it.
"These things happen in footy. Unfortunately I gave away a penalty and they were good enough to score."
Sims said Hunt, who was axed as the Maroon's starting halfback but excelled as the utility at Suncorp Stadium, had proven to be a strong tackler.
"Obviously he's not going to put on the biggest shots but he did when he was taught to do," Sims said.
"He got underneath the ball and picked me up and flipped me on my back."
NSW coach Brad Fittler thought Hunt had pulled Sims into him after the tackle but accepted that the Dragons enforcer shouldn't have reacted the way he did.
"When I watched it Ben Hunt pulled him, so he shouldn't have been touching him in the first place," Fittler said.
"Tariq was silly enough to go through with it. We'll cop that on the chin."
Fittler instead included the incident as one of several close calls that went the Maroons' way for most of the night, including the first-half sin-binning of five-eighth James Maloney.
Queensland were awarded the first five penalties of the match in a count that finished 8-3.
"We didn't win any 50-50s at all," Fittler said. "But to win 3-0, you've got to do some pretty special things.
"And that was to overcome a lot of adversity and we lacked a bit there under pressure, a few discipline areas let us down."
© AAP 2018