Mason backs O'Meley for Origin II - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Mason backs O'Meley for Origin II

By Adrian Warren 29/05/2008 06:05:54 AM Comments (0)

Sydney Roosters forward Willie Mason has backed club team-mate Mark O'Meley to take the vacant front-row spot in the NSW State of Origin team.

With Ben Cross ruled out of the second Origin game because of a thumb injury, NSW star Mason felt O'Meley had the chance to secure the spot with a strong showing for the Roosters against the Tigers next Monday.

"I think he (O'Meley) has been exceptional the last two weeks," Mason said.

"With Ben Cross off Origin number two, I think him or Luke Bailey would definitely slide straight into that Origin spot.

"I think playing against Queensland, up there, you need a bloke like Ogre (O'Meley) who can just run hard all day into blokes like (Queensland forward) Petero (Civoniceva) and not take a backward step.

"I think the selectors are looking closely at him, I think if he has a big one on Monday he should get the nod."

Meanwhile, Mason revealed the Ogre's notorious 2006 confrontation with Tigers player Bryce Gibbs had been the result of a gee-up from Nate Myles.

The Sydney Football Stadium clash next week could again bring together Gibbs and the former Bulldogs trio of Mason, O'Meley and Myles.

Back in 2006, Gibbs was knocked unconscious by an O'Meley hit-up in a game between the Bulldogs and Tigers.

O'Meley and Mason have this season joined Myles at the Roosters.

While it was thought O'Meley was responding to some pre-match comments by Gibbs, Mason revealed it was Myles who he thought had been responsible for geeing O'Meley up.

"(Myles) said (Gibbs) was paying out on me and Ogre, saying he (Gibbs) was the new breed, but it was a gee-up," Mason said.

"Ogre got that pumped up and took it personally, I didn't really, but Ogre is a front-rower and he loves that sort of stuff so he went out of his way to really target Bryce.

"But I think they are good mates. They played a City game together."

"But it was a gee-up. I don't think Bryce Gibbs said anything, that's Nate Myles' fault," joked Mason.

He expected the Tigers to "come out and hammer us" next Monday.

"They (the Tigers) beat the competition leaders (Gold Coast) last week, so they are going to have a lot of confidence," Mason said.

"They are a very fast nippy team and we are a pretty big aggressive sort of side, but we've got that sort of nippiness around the rucks as well so I think we can combat everything they throw at us."

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