Don't pick Carney, Pearce, Smith urges - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Don't pick Carney, Pearce, Smith urges

By David Beniuk 18/03/2010 07:41:54 PM Comments (0)

Sydney Roosters coach Brian Smith has moved to hose down talk young guns Todd Carney and Mitchell Pearce could be the solution to NSW's State of Origin woes, calling on selectors to give them another year to prove themselves.

The Blues are looking down the barrel of an unprecedented fifth-straight Origin series loss this year as they continue the search for a solution to a halves dilemma they've had since the retirement of Andrew Johns.

While they scored a consolation game three victory last year, it was veterans Brett Kimmorley and Trent Barrett in the playmaking roles, two players who could retire at the end of 2010.

The dawning of a new Roosters' era under Smith with an upset 36-10 win over fancied South Sydney last Sunday immediately sparked talk Carney and Pearce could be in selectors' minds.

"I think they do have the talent to play Origin but personally I think they should be made to show that they've got the consistency to play at a really high level for at least 12 months," Smith told reporters on Thursday.

"At this time next year if they're talking about them for Origin and the Roosters have done well and we made the playoffs, then it would be time, not now."

Veteran mentor Smith is concerned the publicity Carney is attracting in his return to the game following his deregistration for repeated off-field incidents is not helping the 23-year-old former Canberra star.

"The Todd Carney story's just about been done to death," he said.

"He's gone from zero to hero and nothing could be further from the truth with him and also with young Mitchell (Pearce)."

And the renowned disciplinarian went further in trying to relieve the pressure on his players by declaring talk of club-imposed booze bans was wide of the mark.

Carney swore off alcohol after a New Year's Eve prank resulting in a friend's pants catching fire went wrong, while Pearce has also had a dry patch as he reins in a party-boy lifestyle.

"I think some people got a bit carried away or misconstrued the decision that some of our players have made about how they want to change their lifestyle and particularly around the use of alcohol," Smith said.

"There's absolutely zero ban on here on anything except my bad jokes.

"Those guys have made decisions to do whatever they're doing with their lives and socially what they do with their lives are their decisions.

" ... Young Mitchell's got his 21st coming up.

"Seriously, you wouldn't expect him not to have a few beers if he felt that that was appropriate and he might have more than a few.

"If he decides that's appropriate, if he's in the right place and he conducts himself well, certainly no one around here cares anything about that."

Meanwhile Smith believes his young side will need to go up several notches to compete with the Wests Tigers in Sunday's Sydney Football Stadium blockbuster.

"They scared the socks off me, just the intensity of that game (a 26-22 win over Manly) was enormous," he said.

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