Soward puts Roosters to the sword - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Soward puts Roosters to the sword

By Ian Mccullough 25/04/2009 07:15:58 PM Comments (0)

Jamie Soward has played down suggestions he is the man to fill the NSW five-eighth spot despite a match winning performance in St George Illawarra's 29-0 Anzac Day victory over NRL rivals Sydney Roosters.

In front of a bumper crowd of almost 30,000 at the Sydney Football Stadium, Soward, who scored 21 of his side's points, delivered the best performance of his career against the club that allowed him to leave three years ago.

In addition to learning how to play five-eighth from Wayne Bennett, the man who turned Darren Lockyer in the world's best No.6, Soward has also mastered the art of the understatement from the former Broncos mentor.

"Everyone wants to play for their state but I have been in and out of first grade," he said."

"I have played a couple of good games in a row and now everyone is talking about Origin ... I set out a couple of goals at the start of the season with Wayne ... and I definitely didn't have Origin in mind.

"Terry Campese is the five-eighth, he played for Australia last year."

Despite his virtuoso display, Soward felt luck had gone his way, especially for his side's first try where he sprinted 60 metres after regathering his own blocked kick, to set up Brett Morris' try with less than a minute on the clock.

"I think I got a bit lucky with the early knockdown that came back to me ... last week I got pressure put on me over my kicking and this week I had to change it around ... I got the bounce ... you can't do that every week." he said.

Bennett almost inevitably played down his young charge's Origin plans, and dismissed the 40-man provisional NSW named last week as pointless.

"If you are patting yourself on the back for making a 40-man squad you have got to be kidding," Bennett said.

"I think everyone who is playing and is in form should be considered. I've only been with him (Soward) for three or four months but he is the most criticised player in the NRL.

"He has played some good games ... but everyone is getting ahead of themselves. If he does this for a couple of years then we can say 'congratulations' but for four or five weeks? Origin halves aren't made from that."

Roosters coach Brad Fittler was more vocal about halfback Mitchell Pearce's Origin chances, and claimed he was his side's best player, despite their failure to get on the scoreboard.

"I think he should be the NSW No.7," Fittler said.

"He was our best player out there ... but today I just think overall we lacked a bit of belief - all their tries were long-range opportunistic efforts and the scoreline didn't reflect our efforts.

"Their defence was very good and they have a lot of speed in their side ... particularly in Soward ... you can't buy his speed."

Roosters captain Braith Anasta admitted the Dragons were the best side he had faced this season.

"We will keep working hard, but the best thing I can say is that we kept going and showed lots of character - we just couldn't get any momentum and that is due to the way they played."

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