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Cowboys whip Sharks

04/06/2005 09:34:40 PM Comments (0)

North Queensland coach Graham Murray has called for the retention of NSW halfback Brett Kimmorley for Origin II despite Cronulla being pummelled 56-14 by the Cowboys at Dairy Farmers Stadium.

Kimmorley, who is under pressure to retain his Blues jersey after an ordinary performance in the first Origin match in Brisbane last month, again played behind a well-beaten forward pack and was unable to assert his authority over a white-hot Cowboys outfit.

The Sharks No.7, who faces a challenge from Newcastle halfback Andrew Johns to retain his NSW spot, helped the visitors reverse an early 12-point deficit to give his side a two-point advantage just seven minutes from the main break.

However the Cowboys, led by their Origin contingent of Matt Bowen, Paul Bowman, Matt Sing, Carl Webb and halfback Jonathon Thurston, put on 44 unanswered points to blow the Sharks off the paddock and cement a spot in the top four.

However Murray believed the incumbent Australian playmaker deserved a second chance for the Origin at Telstra Stadium on June 15.

"I think I would personally stick with Brett Kimmorley, but it wasn't his happiest night," Murray said.

Sharks coach Stuart Raper said Kimmorley deserved to retain the NSW No.7 jersey and also suggested hard-working prop Danny Nutley deserved consideration for the Queensland front-row spot vacated by the injured Steve Price.

"I'd like to think selectors would be a bit smarter and not pick an individual on one bad performance when all his teammates played bad as well," Raper said.

"For him (Nutley) and Brett, if you look at their overall form throughout the year, it's been very strong, and that should be taken into consideration."

After blowing away the Bulldogs in the second half of their match last weekend, the Cowboys were again unstoppable in the second stanza after holding an eight-point lead at halftime.

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