Age no worry for Maroons' metre eaters - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Age no worry for Maroons' metre eaters

By Todd Balym & Melissa Woods 02/06/2009 11:51:00 AM Comments (0)

Steve Price insists age is no barrier, vowing that his veteran Queensland front row combination with Petero Civoniceva will not suffer State of Origin burn out with the increased speed of rugby league this year.

The backbone of Queensland's Origin dominance over the past three years, 35-year-old Price and Civoniceva, 33, continue to defy their ages to lead the Maroons into the fastest, toughest games of the year.

Even the increased speed of the game following the introduction of the two referees system in 2009 hasn't affected the Maroons bookends, with the duo still leading all NRL props in average metres gained.

Price heads the list with 145.6m, just ahead of Civoniceva (145.1m) with NSW forward Luke Bailey running third with 142m.

"We haven't been going too bad in the NRL and Origin, though it's faster, I don't see it being that fast that no-one can keep up," said Price.

"I don't think it will be the older guys or the bigger guys who are going to struggle, everyone will because it's State of Origin.

"I'm not going to change my game because of how old I am, or how old the players are who I'm against.

"I've got a role to play and will just try to go out and do that as well as I can."

The stunning start to 2009 by Maroons young gun Ben Hannant (132.6m, 5th) at the Bulldogs has given Queensland another significant front rower to throw at NSW.

Civoniceva says the brilliant form of Hannant, who had brief minutes off the Queensland bench last year, is a positive sign for the future of the Maroons.

"(Hannant) has probably been one of the form props in the competition," said Civoniceva.

"He is playing some fantastic football and I think the signs are good for the front row stocks especially in State of Origin moving forward for Queensland.

"I think the day me and Pricey decide to step down we have guys like Ben Hannant, (Canberra's) David Shillington, obviously Nate Myles and Sam Thaiday who are in camp, so things are looking pretty good.

"Matt (Scott) has also been in great form and is one of those guys that will obviously step into the front row position when we decide to step down."

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