Maroons wary of Gasnier at No.6 - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Maroons wary of Gasnier at No.6

By Wayne Heming 27/06/2006 08:30:46 PM Comments (0)

Queensland captain Darren Lockyer and centre Brent Tate have issued Mark Gasnier alerts, warning of the threat posed by the makeshift five-eighth in next Wednesday's State of Origin series decider.

While critics have questioned whether converted centre Gasnier possesses the passing and kicking game for the No.6 role, Queensland was talking up his undoubted class.

"Gasnier at five-eighth could be a dangerous thing for us," declared Tate.

"He didn't really get too much ball in the second game.

"I think he'll get a lot more involved in this game and the more involved he gets the harder it is to contain him.

"They've taken a couple of gambles if you want to call them that, but I can't see it as too much of a gamble to be honest.

"He's played a bit there at club level and the more times he has the ball in his hands the more things are going to happen."

Gasnier was chosen in an untried halves combination with Craig Gower for the Telstra Dome clash as Blues selectors axed Brett Finch, whose field goal in game one snatched a 17-16 victory, and Braith Anasta in the wake of Queensland's hard-hitting 30-6 win in game two.

Gasnier, cleared of a broken hand, has played only three games at five-eighth for his St George Illawarra club although coach Nathan Brown has indicated his future lies there.

Lockyer alluded to some problems for the Blues after they made five changes for the decider.

However he was careful not to question Gasnier's positional move.

"With any loss and with the magnitude of the loss there was always going to be changes," said Lockyer before the Queensland team, minus ill prop Peter Civoniceva, flew to Melbourne.

"But five probably signifies that they're under a bit of pressure."

Lockyer expects a lot of play to revolve around Gower but he also believes Gasnier will be heavily involved.

"They've virtually got three centres in (Matt) Cooper, Gasnier and (Matt) King," said Lockyer.

"Gasnier is very good with the football in his hands and I think they'll be trying to get the ball to him as much as they can.

"I don't see him changing the way he plays too much and I don't think we'll see too many chip kicks from him - they're still a year or two away," he joked.

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