NRL's Carney to get better and better - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

NRL's Carney to get better and better

By Ian Mccullough 03/04/2010 02:07:54 PM Comments (0)

Sydney Roosters coach Brian Smith believes Todd Carney still has some way to go to become a top-class NRL fullback, despite his outstanding display against Brisbane on Friday night.

Carney scored 17 points in his side's 25-6 victory at the Sydney Football Stadium, including two well-taken tries, but his coach has called on the former Canberra playmaker to keep improving his game.

"He did some good things, but he has a long way to go in terms of developing his game," said Smith.

"He has got such great talent in terms of carrying the ball, he is learning a bit more about positional play, but there is a lot of things specific to fullback play that you don't encounter anywhere else.

"It is a big ask we have made of him getting him to play there and it is a selfless act on his behalf."

Carney played his whole career at Canberra in the halves, but Smith's decision to move him to fullback appears to have paid off, with the Roosters winning three of their first four games, just two less than their total for the 2009 season.

However, the former Parramatta and Newcastle mentor said Carney will need to spend more time working on his positional play.

"There are things that come up in fullback play that you might not even see ... there are a myriad of different situations that may come from kicks.

"I used to coach Mick Potter many years ago at St George ... and Mick was a real student of the game and I learnt a lot from him about fullback play from coaching him.

"Toddy is a more instinctive player and not really that type of bloke, so it may take him a bit longer to get up to speed, but while he is going like he is at the moment he will score a lot of tries."

Smith was also full of praise for another former Canberra recruit Phil Graham, who showed glimpses of a prosperous partnership with Anthony Minichiello on the left-hand side of the Roosters' attack.

"I thought his defence was absolutely outstanding, he has been very good for us since he arrived, even in pre-season. He has been noted for his attacking rate, but some of his tackles and reads on players like Sam Thaiday, who is always a handful, were outstanding," said Smith.

Graham was one of three Roosters' players, who were left nursing injuries after limping off with an ankle injury.

He was joined in the medical room by Daniel Conn, who left the field with a back injury, not long after he had to fend off the attentions of a female fan, who jumped over the fence at the SFS and sat on the former Gold Coast forward's lap when he was on the interchange bench.

Smith said he was unaware of the incident, which saw the woman escorted out of the ground, but was hopeful the back spasms Conn suffered late in the first half were not too serious.

Young prop Martin Kennedy also missed the second half after going down with an ankle injury.

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