Farah gets double boost in Origin battle - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Farah gets double boost in Origin battle

By Melissa Woods and Steve Jancetic 27/04/2009 07:07:30 PM Comments (0)

The battle for the NSW No.9 jumper has swung back Robbie Farah's way with the Wests Tigers skipper's representative ambitions receiving a double boost on Monday.

Just hours after gaining support from Blues Origin coach Craig Bellamy, Farah's rival for the NSW berth - Bulldogs rake Michael Ennis - was charged by the NRL match review committee.

Ennis is facing a one match ban for his "chicken wing" tackle on Canberra fullback Josh Dugan in the nation's capital on Sunday.

An early guilty plea or a guilty finding would rub Ennis out of round one of an anticipated double Origin shootout with Farah, with Wests Tigers to host the Bulldogs at ANZ Stadium on Sunday.

That match-up was set to be followed by another clash in the May 8 City-Country encounter in Orange.

On top of Ennis's likely suspension, Bellamy suggested that Farah deserved a Blues call-up after biding his time behind Danny Buderus.

"They've both been in really good form, especially probably Ennis," Bellamy said.

"But Farah's been a wonderful player for three or four years now.

"He's been playing really good footy and has been kept out of the Origin team by Danny Buderus, who everyone knows has probably been one of the best hookers in our history.

"He's waited a long time so you wouldn't think he's going to give his chance up easily.

"It's an interesting contest."

Bellamy won't be in Orange for the May 8 encounter with three of the Melbourne support staff involved in the Australia-New Zealand Test match being played the same night in Brisbane.

Storm assistant coach Stephen Kearney is the New Zealand coach and Alex Corvo the Kangaroos fitness coach while Michael Maguire is assistant to Country Origin coach Laurie Daley.

"I'd love to go but with those guys away I don't think it would be fair on the club and Friday is probably going to be our main training day," Bellamy said.

Meanwhile, Bellamy said consistent premiership form would hold more importance to selectors than a one-off starring role in the City-Country battle.

"It's one game, I'll certainly be watching and I'll certainly be interested in what happens in that game because there will be a lot of guys in there who are possible Origin players," he said.

"But there's going to be nine or 10 rounds played before the Origin side is picked so a lot of that form will be taken into account."

Bellamy did claim however that the annual clash would be more of a Blues trial than in recent years, particularly with many NSW backs likely to miss out on selection in the Test team.

"I think this year there is a few more head-to-head in the sides going against each other than there has been in the years before.

"A lot of the other times Origin sides have probably been a bit more settled whereas this year there probably is a bit more interest in City-Country, because it probably is a bit more of a State of Origin trial."

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