Choc will play SOO again

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First Grader
Joy then despair for Choc
Manly Daily

A DISTRAUGHT Anthony Watmough is determined not to join the ranks of one-game wonders after being dropped from the NSW side for State of Origin II.

The Manly back-rower was one of two players sacked following the Blues' golden point loss to Queensland in the series opener last month.

Half-back Brett Kimmorley was also dumped, replaced at No 7 by St George Illawarra's Trent Barrett.

Watmough's Manly teammate Ben Kennedy retained his position at lock, with Steve Menzies drafted on to the NSW bench for tomorrow week's clash at Telstra Stadium.

Watmough was avoiding the spotlight yesterday but admitted after Manly's win over the Roosters that he would be struggling to hold his place.

``I don't think I did enough in Origin I,'' he said. ``I could have done more.

``The last two weeks I think my form has been a little bit down. There's been a couple of mistakes. I'd love to get another chance.''

Origin history is littered with players who played one match before disappearing from view.

But Manly coach Des Hasler says 21-year- old Watmough will not fade from the representative scene.

``He has showed he can compete with the elites of the game,'' Hasler said.

``We'll be seeing a lot more of him at that level.''

Menzies, who takes Watmough's place on the bench, agreed.

``I'm really happy to be picked but I feel for Choc,'' he said.

``I didn't think he did much wrong in the first game and I thought they'd stick with the same side after the second half comeback.

``But he's only young and he'll get plenty more chances.''

Menzies will play in his first Origin match since 2002 after twice serving as 18th man over the past three years.

``I suppose being 18th man means you're close but when you haven't played for a while you wonder whether they'll pick you again,'' he said.

``I'm really enjoying my footy this year and am happy with the way I'm playing and this is a nice surprise.''

NSW coach Ricky Stuart noted that after 278 first grade matches for Manly it was an ``amazing compliment'' for Menzies to be named in the17-man squad which will go into camp tomorrow morning.

``He's an amazing player, enduring what he has over his career,'' Stuart said.

Stuart himself is facing a $10,000 fine from the NRL over comments he made about referees in his weekly newspaper column on Sunday his team's loss to Manly on Friday night.

The Roosters can appeal against the NRL's breach notice issued yesterday.

``If you assert that referees are biased you will be fined,'' NRL boss David Gallop said, commenting on the breach notice.

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