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Pearce preps for Origin with Tiger bashing

NZN 11/06/2017 Scott Bailey

Sydney Roosters coach Trent Robinson declared Mitchell Pearce ready to win his first Origin series for NSW after he starred in the club's 40-18 flogging of the Wests Tigers on Sunday.

Pearce was one of three players to bag a double in the win, as the Roosters provisionally bumped themselves up to second on the NRL ladder, above Cronulla on for-and-against.

Criticised for his short kicking game in the Blues' 28-4 Origin I win, the NSW halfback provided a cross-field kick for Roosters and NSW winger Blake Ferguson to score in the first half and forced two line dropouts in the opening 20 minutes.

Asked whether he was confident of Pearce being ready to win a series for NSW on his seventh attempt next week, Robinson responded with resounding positivity.

"He definitely is (ready)," Robinson said.

"It's the best I've ever seen him.

"He's clear, he's confident. He sees footy now probably a bit different to what he did a year ago.

"He knows his footy. He's always been a really smart footy guy but he's developed again in the past year."

Pearce's performance was his first after being knocked out in the Origin series opener, and came just a day before he joins NSW camp for the second clash of the series - where the Blues can win just their second Shield in 12 years.

It also came a day after he watched chief Maroons playmaker Johnathan Thurston star in his return from a shoulder injury for North Queensland over Parramatta.

"He was on fire," Pearce said.

"It was what you come to expect - we'll be expecting his A-game next week."

But in the second half on Sunday, Pearce responded in kind at Campbelltown.

After the Roosters rested NSW captain Boyd Cordner and lost hooker Jake Friend to a concussion early, Pearce showed up twice in support to extend the Roosters' 16-12 halftime lead.

He completed a Luke Keary break just five minutes after halftime and then had his second 12 minutes later when he chased down a Latrell Mitchell kick within inches of the dead-ball line.

It was Mitchell's second try assist of the match to go with his 162 metres and seven tackle busts, while Aidan Guerra and Connor Watson each scored twice.

Meanwhile the Tigers showed signs of improvement in the first half before falling to their fifth straight loss.

Mid-season recruit Tuimoala Lolohea looked dangerous at times, and crossed for his first try in Tigers' colours with the game's opening points.

James Tedesco also scored once against his future club, but it mattered little as an 87 per cent completion rate in the first half fell away drastically in the second.

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