Roosters look to Soward for NRL clash - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Roosters look to Soward for NRL clash

By Steve Jancetic 03/05/2005 06:48:06 PM Comments (0)

Having exhausted just about every other option, Sydney Roosters coach Ricky Stuart has turned to 20-year-old whiz-kid Jamie Soward as the latest solution to his halves crisis.

Soward will make his NRL debut at halfback alongside Test utility Craig Wing when the Roosters meet Newcastle at Aussie Stadium on Sunday.

The Wagga Wagga junior had been marked for stardom after starring in the Roosters' unbeaten Jersey Flegg side last season, capping the season off with a golden-point field goal in the 14-13 grand final victory over Cronulla.

The Soward-Wing combination will be the sixth tried by Stuart this season, with the retirement of former skipper Brad Fittler still haunting the Bondi-based club.

The Roosters are still without regular No.7 Brett Finch, who has one match of his suspension left to serve, and star off-season recruit Brett Firman has been punted back to Premier League after his late call-up to play North Queensland on Saturday night.

Firman, Finch, Wing, Chris Flannery and Amos Roberts have all been tried in various combination at the scrumbase, but with the 20-point loss to the Cowboys the Roosters' fifth in six matches, it is clear that none of them have been all that successful.

"We probably had Finchy and Amos there a couple of weeks ago, everything seemed to be going really well, then Finchy got two weeks," said Flannery, who has been moved to the second row to cover for the suspended Michael Crocker.

"If you lose a player like him who has been there for the past three years and guides the team around so well it is definitely disruptive. Whoever plays in the halves has got to step up and take authority for the side."

Assistant coach John Cartwright said there was no better remedy to the situation than a couple of wins.

"The halves, we have been struggling a little bit, but we are confident we can turn it around," Cartwright said.

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