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Brad Fittler rates Nathan Cleary a ’50/50′ chance of being fit for decider

In sport, as in life, you learn more by losing than by winning.

Not that New South Wales would exchange their emphatic Game II win for a life lesson, but coach Freddy Fittler says the brains trust must put their heads together to understand why things worked so well.

“Sometimes it’s a bit harder when you have a win like that, you’ve got to bounce back and find out why it was things went so well and fire it up again, so we’ve got quite the challenge ahead of us,” Fittler tells Mark Levy and Mark ‘Piggy’ Riddell on Macquarie Sports Radio. 

Queensland are in strife if the Blues do manage to fire it up again, so comprehensive was Sunday night’s 38-6 thrashing but the win came at a cost, with halfback Nathan Cleary succumbing to an ankle injury shortly before halftime and his chances of being fit for the decider are up in the air.

“He’s going to do everything possible, we’re sort of thinking about 50/50 at the moment, obviously he won’t be playing this week,

“He’ll be on the physio table round the clock and we’ll see how it goes,

“The thing is, you know he’s fit, so I don’t think the lack of running is going to hurt Nathan, he’ll do that side of it pretty easily, I think they’re looking to run him next Monday to get an idea of how free the ankle can get because at the moment it’s still a bit swollen, so I’m not quite sure how long the injury could take to recover but we’ll give him every chance to be a part of this team,”

While an injury cloud remains over Cleary, front-row enforcer David Klemmer has been making a miraculous recovery from a broken wrist which kept him out of the side which wallopped the Maroons. Reports from the Newcastle Knights is that Klemmer has trained well and is highly likely to resume on Saturday, placing him firmly back in contention for an Origin recall.

“The key to New South Wales always getting better is just competition,” Fittler said.

“I thought Daniel Saifiti was outstanding, he really did a great job for us, we pick the team Monday night this week so everyone will get a day’s grace from the last game, so we’ll take everything into consideration,”

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