Mitch Pearce can seal NSW series win: Kevin Walters

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    Statistics may say otherwise but Queensland coach Kevin Walters fears maligned NSW halfback Mitchell Pearce will step up in Wednesday night’s State of Origin decider.

    Pearce is again under enormous pressure to improve his woeful Origin record and clinch NSW’s second series win in 12 years after the Blues let game two slip through their grasp.

    The knives are again out for the 28-year-old after critics claimed the NSW No.7 failed to step up and close out game two in Sydney, ultimately claimed by a never say die Queensland 18-16.

    Pearce has never experienced an Origin series win in six attempts.

    But Walters believed Pearce would ice the result if given a sniff by NSW’s giant pack which set the platform for their record 28-4 game one win at Suncorp Stadium.

    “Mitchell is a very good player, probably in season-best form,” Walters said.

    “If NSW get the momentum Pearce and (halves partner James) Maloney will get them home.

    “We’ve got to stop them getting momentum.

    “We understand the potency of the NSW side.

    “Six weeks ago they put the cleaners through us. We have to be respectful of that.”

    © AAP 2017

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