Reynolds defends under-fire Pearce after Origin loss


Mitchell Pearce should not be made a scapegoat for New South Wales' defeat to Queensland in the State of Origin decider as the Maroons were "just too good on the night", according to Adam Reynolds.

Critics rounded on Pearce following the third and final match of the series at Lang Park, where Valentine Holmes scored a hat-trick in Queensland's 22-6 triumph.

Halfback Pearce was singled out after missing a vital tackle on Cameron Munster in the second half and being unable to stamp his authority on the contest.

But ex-Blues playmaker Reynolds sees no reason why Pearce should shoulder the blame for NSW's 11th series defeat in 12 years.

"It was obviously disappointing being a New South Welshman last night, but Queensland were just too good on the night," Reynolds told the NRL website.

"I thought throughout the whole series we had the stronger team, but as Queensland do, they just always seem to find a way and proved that.

"It's a team sport and I don't think one player should be singularly criticised, it's just as simple as we weren't good enough across the board and especially in the middle. 

"As a half you've always got to look for ways to get yourself out of it if it's not working and come up with alternatives. That's the biggest challenge of the game for me but sometimes it can be tough."