Raiders buoyed by Origin selection - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Raiders buoyed by Origin selection

By Bonny Symons-Brown 25/04/2009 10:58:52 AM Comments (0)

Canberra's confidence has been boosted before Sunday's Bulldogs clash by the recognition of their playing power in NSW's provisional State of Origin squad.

Raiders star five-eighth Terry Campese, forward Alan Tongue and Test winger Joel Monaghan were this week selected as part of a Blues 40-man Origin squad.

But the Bulldogs, who sit towards the top of the NRL ladder, managed only two inclusions - Josh Morris and Michael Ennis - while marquee names Andrew Ryan and veteran Brett Kimmorley were controversially snubbed.

Considering some of the big names excluded from the preliminary lineup, Monaghan said Canberra's triple-selection lifted morale coming into this weekend's must-win match.

"I got to play one game last year and the level is definitely up from club footy," Monaghan said.

"Personally I'd like to get in there and play a whole series after only playing the last game.

"We got a bit of recognition with Alan Tongue and Terry Campese as well, so it's good for the club ... you get a lot of confidence out of making the squad."

Coach David Furner said despite the State of Origin blow to the Bulldogs, they have proven themselves in the key positions.

He singled out fullback Luke Patten, hooker Ennis, No.7 Kimmorley and forward Jarrad Hickey as particular dangers on the home paddock this weekend.

"They're a good side, they've recruited well, they've got some experience in the key positions: fullback and nine and obviously the half Brett Kimmorley," Furner said.

"I know people talk about career-best form, but geez he is in some great form. He's a great player, he's a very good organiser for the Bulldogs.

"And they've got some forwards back, Jarrad Hickey back in the side there gives them good game, they're playing with a lot of confidence."

But Canberra had enough arsenal to counter their offensive, Furner said.

Campese for one has recovered from bruising to his foot and will start, while 21-year-old Josh McCrone will debut for the Raiders at halfback.

Campese said he was looking forward to playing with the youngster again.

"I played with him before he went to Penrith so we know each others game pretty well," Campese said.

"I can't wait, he's pretty excited, so it's going to be good to see him out there and bringing some enthusiasm with him."

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