Bellamy insists no late NSW team changes - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Bellamy insists no late NSW team changes

01/07/2008 07:27:27 PM Comments (0)

NSW coach Craig Bellamy is confident the Blues have enough back-up plans if Wednesday's deciding State of Origin clash turns pear-shaped as it did in the embarrassing game two defeat.

Bellamy has ruled out adjusting his starting lineup for the clash with Queensland at ANZ Stadium but has plenty of options in mind if the Blues are again put on the back foot.

He insists rookie Mitchell Pearce and fullback Brett Stewart will both start, quashing rumours either could be benched in favour of utility Kurt Gidley.

And debutant Joel Monaghan will initially oppose Queensland star Greg Inglis despite defensive centre Matt Cooper offering his services to blanket the Origin II match-winner.

While Bellamy is putting faith in his starters, he has worked diligently on ensuring they don't repeat the same mistakes made in Brisbane three weeks ago.

One of those mistakes, was giving Inglis too much room down the right hand side.

"We have worked on a couple of things this week that hopefully might blunt Greg's effectiveness but again, we all know what to do, it's stopping him that is the hard part," said Bellamy.

"It's not only about Joel, it's about the defenders around him as well.

"I think they will be coming down our right side pretty much again.

"At the end of the day those first couple of tries in game two came from long distance and there's a couple of things we need to do a bit better to make sure they don't happen again.

"It was pretty much an arm wrestle, they had a bit more ball and a bit better field position in the second one like we did in the first one but again we just fell away from what we wanted to do when they scored those tries."

Blues forward Craig Fitzgibbon said NSW failed to respond to the rapid momentum shift in Origin II, but insists the decider will ensure they handle the adversity with greater resolve.

"The momentum was gone in a matter of minutes up there and it's pretty hard to snap back if you don't have the ball and can't get penalties or can't get repeat sets," he said.

"That was ultimately due to good play by Queensland so it's not an excuse.

"We probably didn't handle it all that well and you would like to think the decider is going to change that equation."

Key to setting the Blues intensity level will be under-siege prop Willie Mason after he was slammed for going missing in the record defeat in Brisbane.

Bellamy kept Mason from talking to the media all week, although he maintains it was the player's own choice, and is expecting him to lead the way on Wednesday night.

"He has put his head down and I'm sure he is ready to play well tomorrow night," said Bellamy.

"I know when Willie is at his best he certainly lifts the team.

"He is very inspiring when he gets onto the ball and charges onto it and we will certainly be looking for him to do that tomorrow night."

The Blues held a final training at ANZ Stadium on Tuesday night before a team dinner inside the venue where former NSW forward Paul Sironen and Test coach Ricky Stuart presented jumpers to the players.

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2023 AAP

0 Comments about this article

Post a comment about this article

Please sign in to leave a comment.
Becoming a member is free and easy, sign up here.

« All sports news