Stop worrying about Pearce: Lazarus - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Stop worrying about Pearce: Lazarus

By Wayne Heming 27/06/2008 04:37:38 PM Comments (0)

Legendary prop Glenn Lazarus believes NSW forwards should forget about baby sitting rookie halfback Mitchell Pearce and make sure they do their job against Queensland's pack on Wednesday night.

Lazarus, who won premierships with three different clubs and played 19 Origins in a decade between 1989-99, believes the Blues have taken a massive gamble pitching the 19-year-old son of former Balmain great Wayne Pearce into such a pressure game.

When Pearce went into camp this week the NSW forwards formed a huddle and called him over, telling him they would "protect" him.

"I never experienced anything like that in my time in Origin," Lazarus said.

"Maybe it's a new thing.

"I don't know how much protection the forwards can give him.

"Making your (Origin) debut is very nerve-wracking and nobody can protect him.

"Hopefully they're not too concerned with Mitchell's job and they're more worried about their own jobs because they'll need to do it very well."

Lazarus said while Pearce was an exciting young talent NSW had taken quite a gamble by putting someone in such a key position who was making their debut in what is such a crucial game.

"If NSW lose this, it's three series in a row," said the former Canberra, Brisbane and Melbourne prop.

"They could have picked a more appropriate game for his debut. If it was a dead rubber it would be a great opportunity.

"I hope they've made the right choice and I hope he goes out and plays really well and NSW win."

Lazarus rejected suggestions NSW's forwards went missing in the second game in Brisbane after dominating Origin I in Sydney.

"They didn't go missing," he said.

"It always difficult to win the first two because in the second game you're up against a side that is desperate.

"Playing Queensland in Queensland is a totally different kettle of fish.

"They (forwards) had a dig but Queensland outplayed them.

"Nobody goes out in Origin and doesn't have a go but Queensland were too good, just as we were in game one.

"If they both turn up next Wednesday night with their A games as you would expect it will be a cracker of a game."

"We wanted it badly in the first game and Queensland wanted it more in the second one.

"Now it's all or nothing for both sides and I can't imagine it not being a great game with the series up for grabs."

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