Barrett, Kimmorley together at last - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Barrett, Kimmorley together at last

By Steve Jancetic 13/07/2009 05:09:03 PM Comments (0)

Together they've been thrown together with the task of rescuing NSW from Origin embarrassment on Wednesday night, but a Trent Barrett-Brett Kimmorley partnership is no new concept.

In fact, the Barrett-Kimmorley scrumbase has been 12 years in the making, when Kimmorley was signed, sealed and all but delivered to join a teenaged Barrett at the now defunct Illawarra Steelers.

Kimmorley, on the lookout for a new club following the demise of the Hunter Mariners after the 1997 peace deal between Super League and the ARL, liked what he saw when he visited the Steelers' Wollongong base.

It was music to the ears of Steelers management, who thought teaming the talented Kimmorley with Barrett - who already had one Origin appearance under his belt - could take the club into the future.

Only problem was, Kimmorley was still contracted to News Limited.

"We met with Noddy and his manager Sam Ayoub and we all agreed to terms - he thought the Illawarra was a great place to live," then Steelers chief executive and now St George Illawarra director Bob Millward said.

"But his contract was owned by News Limited who were putting a team together in Melbourne and they directed him to play there.

"He's one of the better players that have agreed to play with the club but eventually did not play with the club.

"It would have been interesting with him and Trent playing together ... it's something I haven't thought of for many years."

In the end the Steelers survived only one more season before their joint venture with St George - Kimmorley again coming back to haunt the club when he helped steer the Storm past the Dragons in the 1999 grand final.

Barrett and Kimmorley did eventually get together for the opening game of the 2005 series, the match in which Kimmorley threw an extra time intercept pass for Matt Bowen to score.

Barrett said he welcomed the return of Kimmorley to a Blues side trying to prevent a series cleansweep at Suncorp Stadium, saying Kimmorley's addition would ease the pressure on him to guide NSW around the park.

The Cronulla skipper was forced to do much of the organising when paired with the less experienced Peter Wallace in game two in Sydney three weeks ago.

"It's handy having Noddy here - he is such an experienced bloke ... and he just helps everyone around him with his organisation more than anything.

"I guess you know what you're going to get with him, he's been doing it so long."

Barrett also gave some merit to the theory the two could be reunited for game one of next year's campaign with a win in Wednesday night's series finale.

"If we can win and win well and we're playing well again next year it'd be great to play again next year," Barrett said.

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