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Why Kite can make Roos but not the Blues

Discussion in 'Rugby League Forum' started by CliffyIsGod, May 6, 2008.

  1. CliffyIsGod

    CliffyIsGod Well-Known Member

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    Roy Masters | May 6, 2008,leaguehq.com.au

    MELBOURNE'S 2007 grand-final performance may count more than Friday night's Test match, with the Storm's two premiership-winning props, Brett White and Ben Cross, likely to be chosen for NSW in the first State of Origin match, displacing Manly's Test prop Brent Kite, whom they dominated in last year's NRL decider.

    Blues and Melbourne coach Craig Bellamy is confident that Cross, who transferred to Newcastle this season, and White, the Storm's No.1 prop, can restore NSW forward power after two successive series losses, possibly usurping Kite, who played for the Blues last year and has been chosen in the front row for Australia against New Zealand in the Centenary Test.

    Cross made a triumphant return to representative football when he played a strong role off the bench for Country against City in Wollongong last Friday. Country assistant coach Michael Maguire, who is also Bellamy's deputy in Melbourne, rang his head coach shortly after the City-Country match to praise Cross, who finished ahead of White, a guaranteed selection for NSW.

    Prior to the Wollongong match, NSW selectors believed Cross had softened after a long lay-off with injury, but Bellamy expressed confidence the 112-kilogram prop, who plays like a rolling boulder, could "do the job".

    There has been a push for St George Illawarra's Jason Ryles, particularly following some impressive statistics, which rate him at the top of NRL props.

    Australian coach Ricky Stuart, who is keen to entice Ryles to the Sharks, believes the prop can return to the form that won the Blues the series in 2005, but Ryles did not impress this year's Country selectors.

    Past NSW coaches argue Origin football is such a physically confronting contest it is important to have big units on the field early, meaning it is mandatory to include a 115kg prop on the bench. However, Origin football is also renowned for its speed, few stoppages and fast play-the-balls, meaning mobility plays a major role.

    NSW have an edge over Queensland in this department at a time when the game lacks wide-running second-rowers. Just more than a decade ago, Manly had three mobile back-rowers in their 1996 premiership-winning team but today there are only two high-quality wide runners - Melbourne's Ryan Hoffman and the Roosters' Anthony Tupou, with both included in Australia's team to play New Zealand. Hoffman is a certainty on the left-hand side for the Blues, with the Roosters' Willie Mason expected to partner him.

    Mason may be chosen on the bench but he can make an impact running at Queensland's left-side defenders, such as expected half Johnathan Thurston. Mason, like most past and present Bulldogs, lacks skill in the wrestle at the ruck, meaning he is not suited to defending close to the play-the-ball.

    Cronulla's Greg Bird, who played for NSW in last year's dead-rubber victory, will almost certainly lock the scrum, contributing further to the team's mobility and adding versatility via his ability as five-eighth, a position he will play for Australia following the withdrawal of Darren Lockyer. Bird's clubmate, Paul Gallen, will almost certainly be included on the Blues bench, with Tupou and the Gold Coast's Anthony Laffranchi.

    Field position plays such a critical role in Origin football that NSW must include a kicking half, guaranteeing the selection of the Roosters' Braith Anasta as five-eighth. While Newcastle's Kurt Gidley, a benchman for Australia, will play No.7 for the Blues, he is not a noted kicker, nor is hooker Danny Buderus, both of whom have spent their club careers watching Andrew Johns mesmerise opposition defenders with his magic boot.

    Nor is Parramatta's Brett Finch - likely to be chosen as the Blues back reserve - a renowned distance finder. St George Illawarra's two centres, Mark Gasnier and Matt Cooper, appear automatic selections, despite their club's poor form, with Gasnier partnering Parramatta's Jarryd Hayne on the right-hand side and Cooper linking with Melbourne's Anthony Quinn on the left.

    Hayne, who has not kicked a goal in the NRL since 2006, may have to assume this responsibility should Gidley be injured or off the field.

    However, Hayne, who achieved a rare representative trifecta last year, being chosen for City, NSW and Australia at age 19, would not lack confidence as a goalkicker, despite being No.3 or No.4 choice at the Eels.

    NSW selectors' experiment last year with the Bulldogs' Hazem El Masri as a winger was successful but the code's greatest ever goal kicker is injured. Manly's Brett Stewart is expected to be the Blues fullback.

    ROY MASTERS'S ORIGIN TEAM

    1 Brett Stewart, 2 Anthony Quinn, 3 Mark Gasnier,
    4 Matt Cooper, 5 Jarryd Hayne, 6 Braith Anasta, 7 Kurt Gidley,

    8 Brett White, 9 Danny Buderus, 10 Ben Cross, 11 Ryan Hoffman,

    12 Willie Mason, 13 Greg Bird.

    Interchange: 14 Paul Gallen, 15 Anthony Tupou,

    16 Anthony Laffranchi, 17 Brett Finch.
     
  2. The Wheel

    The Wheel Well-Known Member

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    With King out I hope Kite misses out on NSW selection, it should be remember Kite was playing injured in the GF after his groin injury late in the season - not that it would have mattered
     
  3. clontaago

    clontaago Well-Known Member

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    If that's the NSW team that takes the field, QLD will absolutely smash us.
     
  4. Fro

    Fro Well-Known Member

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    Is it just me or does anyone else think Gallen is one of the most overrated dogs to play the game.

    if Stuart wasnt the coach he would not be anywhere near the SCG on Friday night except with a beer in the stands.
     
  5. Downie

    Downie Active Member

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    Gallen I don't mind, it's that he has Gidley at 7 (when he's been playing fullback all year, I think) and Finch on the bench. Put Gidley back to the bench, fark off Finch and put Wallace in at number seven. And bugger off Quinn too.
     
  6. Nutzcraw

    Nutzcraw Active Member

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    First game will be:

    01. Kurt Gidley
    07. Jarrod Mullen
    09. Danny Buderus

    Good combination together and hopefully Mullen has a kicking game like he did against the knights as his kicking game was woeful in SOO last year.
     
  7. willstyles

    willstyles Active Member

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    If Brett is fit then the best combo NSW can go for is.

    1 - Stewart
    6 - Anasta/Bird (although Anasta's long-kicking game is vital in Origin)
    7 - Finch (has experience, and NSW really don't have another choice here, it is Finch or bust as far as I can see).
    9 - Buderus
    14 - Gidley (sad for him, but his value off the bench is astronomical, he'll be dynamite in this role).
     
  8. Nutzcraw

    Nutzcraw Active Member

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    My post is on the proviso that Stewart is not fit.

    Kurt Gidley should only play in the 1 or off the bench. He will be nullified at 7.

    Anasta is a walk up for the 6.
     
  9. Kiwi Eagle

    Kiwi Eagle Moderator Staff Member 2016 Tipping Competitor

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    What an awesome side he has picked, no front rowers on the bench ffs

    White is over-rated
     
  10. Fro

    Fro Well-Known Member

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    White will never play Origin again after that handbag effort in game 1 last year.
     
  11. willstyles

    willstyles Active Member

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    White is overrated, certainly, but you'd have to expect him to be a walk-up start considering Bellamy is the coach.

    Kite SHOULD be afforded a place in the team. Cross should be one of the bench props. If Laffranchi doesn't start, he should have the other spot because he has the workload of a prop and doesn't run wide as much as Bird/Gallen/Hoffman/Tupou. Mason will have to fill in at prop from time to time.
     
  12. Fro

    Fro Well-Known Member

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    Yes White is for NSW what Gallen is for Australia, wouldnt be anywhere near the team but for who the coach is.
     
  13. DSM5

    DSM5 Well-Known Member 2016 Tipping Competitor

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    Quinn  was absolutely useless last Friday.  I hope none of our guys are picked, then we can get on with the premiership, which is all that really matters.  Who cares about NSW, Qld or Australia.
     
  14. Chip and Chase

    Chip and Chase True Supporter Staff Member Administrator Premium Member 2016 Tipping Competitor

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    I can't see Kite missing out on SOO, barring injury or an absolute Barry Crocker performance in the Test. I'd pick him over White any day of the week.

    Of currently available players I'd go

    Kite
    Buderus
    O'Meley
    Hoffman
    Hindmarsh / Laffranchi
    Gallen

    Bench - Mason, Bird, Cross

    I know Hindmarsh missed out on the test side but I just think we will need a hard working backrower prepared to do all the dirty work, like Hindmarsh or Fitzgibbon historically do. Maybe they see Laffranchi or Gallen fulfilling this role, I don't know. Just that Mason, Tupou, and Hoffman are all wide running ball players not that disposed to racking up 40+ tackles in a match.

    The backs are another matter, I'd pick Gidley at half but then who do you give the final bench spot to ? There is not really another utility to pick from with Wing injured. Need someone able to cover hooker/half I'd guess. Maybe Hornby ??

    Stewart
    Hayne
    Cooper
    Gasnier (due to lack of other options - Monaghan ?)
    ???? (Quinn / Rooney - God forbid / Monaghan)
    Anasta
    Gidley
     
  15. Zep

    Zep Active Member

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    Might be off topic sort of but; Did anyone else think that Kite was head and shoulders above the rest of the pack on Friday night in the Centenary game?
    Seriously i was appalled that they didn't give him the MOTM, fair enough i am a manly supoorter and may be biased- He was making the yards, putting on the hits and only faltered once (missed a tackle that should of been pice of cake).
     
  16. ManlyBacker

    ManlyBacker Winging it Staff Member

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    KIte had a great game on Friday night and backed it up with a huge performance on Sunday. I think he has played himself into a Blues jersey.
     
  17. Merc

    Merc Member

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    I bagged Kite in a earlier thread but i agree he had two blinders in a row.

    Good luck to him.

    Merc
     

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