Knights coach pushes de Gois for Origin - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Knights coach pushes de Gois for Origin

By Samantha Broun 03/05/2009 02:53:15 PM Comments (0)

Jarrod Mullen stole the show with two tries but Newcastle coach Brian Smith says unheralded hooker Isaac de Gois also deserves to be included in Origin talk.

De Gois tormented Brisbane out of dummy-half and proved unstoppable in defence in and around the rucks during the Knights' 28-12 win over the Broncos at a storm-hit EnergyAustralia Stadium on Saturday night.

Smith said the 24-year-old hooker offers NSW selectors an terrific alternative alongside the frontrunners for the Bules No.9 jersey, Michael Ennis and Robbie Farah.

"I just thought that Isaac de Gois was just sensational tonight," Smith said on Saturday.

"I know everyone's talking about the other two guys (Farah and Ennis), they are very good players and I'm certainly not knocking them, but I tell you what I wouldn't swap Isaac for anyone.

"His defence is of the highest quality. Tonight he got his running game going, he stole heaps and heaps of metres and got us on a roll.

"He's just an absolute pleasure to coach, I'm confident he's just going to get better and better.

"If at some stage they (Origin selectors) decide to go with a stronger defender, rather that the other two guys he's in competition with, no doubt outstanding attacking players, but he's just made of tough stuff that boy."

Mullen, a late inclusion after dislocating his shoulder against Wests Tigers last week, was named man of the match after outplaying fellow five-eighth and Blues No.6 favourite, Peter Wallace.

Smith commended Mullen for his determination and leadership while endorsing him for Blues selection.

"It's a sign he's matured in to a high quality NRL player and if the selectors give him another shot at it, he's likely to show that he can do it again and well in representative footy," Smith said.

"It's really not a big deal with Mullo's shoulder, it sounds like it because he was in a lot of pain and dislocated it ... but if the doc says, the specialist says, he can't do any further damage.

"It's just a matter of what he did tonight, which was grit his teeth and go out there and play, and he's got through it and if he wasn't our best player, he certainly was among the best tonight."

Mullen said his teammates thought he was crazy training this week after dislocating his shoulder.

"I did a fitness test on Friday, I hit the pads, I tackled and I felt good, so I just strapped it up, got in there and played a game of footy," Mullen said.

"I didn't needle up this time, I just had to grit my teeth, like Smithy said and go out there and play.

"I'm not going to sit on the sidelines and sook about it."

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