Sharks can win it with Green: Thompson - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Sharks can win it with Green: Thompson

By Todd Balym 18/09/2008 03:02:35 PM Comments (0)

Retired Cronulla forward Lance Thompson says Blake Green won't let anyone down if thrust into the halves hot seat for the Sharks' quest for a maiden NRL premiership.

Green is the man most likely to wear the Sharks No.6 jersey for the rest of their finals campaign after in-form five-eighth Brett Seymour suffered a season-ending knee injury this week.

The loss of Seymour has prompted fans to lobby the club to revoke the suspension of Test star Greg Bird for next week's preliminary final.

Bird was stood down by the club several weeks ago after he was charged by police over an alleged glassing incident with girlfriend Katie Milligan.

He has been ordered to face Sutherland Shire court on October 8 even though neither he nor Milligan have provided police statements.

Milligan supports Bird and is unlikely to assist police as she is set to return to America on Friday.

Cronulla would be willing to reassess Bird's suspension but only if the player clarifies with the club exactly what happened in the incident.

Bird wants to play but won't comment until his court hearing leaving coach Ricky Stuart to turn to Green, who turns 22 on Friday, to fill the gap.

Green was somewhat of a finals lucky charm at Parramatta, leading the Eels premier league side to successive premierships before signing a two-year deal with Cronulla.

Thompson coached Green at NSW Cup side Cronulla Cobras this year where the playmaker had an equally successful touch by sparking them to eight wins from their past nine games and into the finals.

He missed last week's loss to Wentworthville as Stuart drafted him onto Cronulla's bench as the reserve hooker for the win over Canberra.

"(Seymour) is a huge loss for the Sharks but it is also a great gain for them as well because Blake is a very, very good player," said Thompson.

"He probably doesn't realise it but he is a born leader as well.

"Just his input in our games shows me that he is a player of the future.

"He just needs to play regular first grade and I think from there he will become a very, very good NRL halfback."

With veteran halfback Brett Kimmorley in career best form Green's most important task will be to match the defensive attitude the Sharks have carried throughout 2008.

He has shown he is up to that task in his six NRL games this year with just five missed tackles total and an average of 19 tackles per game.

"He is one of the best defensive players I suppose for a halfback/hooker I have seen," said Thompson.

"He is a very good defensive player and can hold his own."

It has been a tough season for the Sharks with several incidents arising throughout the year that could have easily derailed their campaign.

Skipper Paul Gallen had his playing style questioned, Thompson was forced to retire with injury, players battled with officials over contracts, Bird faces criminal charges and now Seymour is out for the year.

But as Thompson pointed out, the players remained committed to each other throughout it all and now stand just two wins away from the club's first title in 41 years of existence.

"It only makes them closer," said Thompson.

"There's no-one breaking the mould there which is pretty special.

"Greg Bird is a great player and he was a big loss, but he has a few little things he needs to sort out and Blake Green is a quite capable player and a very good player and everyone is going to see that over the next couple of weeks.

"It was terrific to be part of it (this year) and being there and coaching is even more special.

"I would love to see them win the comp."

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2021 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