Clouds loom over Kimmorley - again - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Clouds loom over Kimmorley - again

By Laine Clark and Steve Jancetic 26/05/2005 06:15:16 PM Comments (0)

The huge shadow cast by star halfback Andrew Johns again threatens to engulf incumbent NSW No.7 Brett Kimmorley after his nightmare State of Origin rugby league return.

Johns - finally fully fit after a horror injury run - was all but anointed as the new Blues halfback for June 15's Origin II in Sydney by influential ex-NSW coach Phil Gould on Nine Network's coverage after Kimmorley threw an intercept pass that sealed Queensland's 24-20 golden point win.

It capped a disappointing night for Kimmorley who was keen to finally cement the Blues' No.7 jersey in his first game for NSW since 2001.

The limelight was squarely on Kimmorley following his honest admission that he should be sacked if he had a disappointing Origin after being picked as NSW No.7 for the first time on form.

The last time Kimmorley had played Origin was in Brisbane in 2001 when Johns was injured - and he was completely outclassed by a 34-year-old Allan Langer as Queensland roared to a series win.

Four years later, Kimmorley was again feeling the heat at The Cauldron after he unwittingly set up the matchwinner for Queensland reserve Matt Bowen in golden point.

Asked on Nine if he would be ready for game two if picked for NSW, Johns - back from a knee reconstruction and a broken jaw - said: "Yeah, I'm ready for it".

And in an ominous sign, NSW coach Ricky Stuart said: "I always say to my halfbacks they own the result and ... he (Kimmorley) owned the wrong result."

While Kimmorley said there was "always pressure" from Johns, he put on a brave front when he arrived with the Blues team back in Sydney, admitting he'd throw the pass again if it meant a NSW win.

"Yeah, definitely. We've got tremendous outside backs and in a game that was so tight through the middle of the ruck, I just thought move the ruck a little bit and we were a chance," he said.

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