Roosters' Smith praises Pearce, Carney - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Roosters' Smith praises Pearce, Carney

By Ian McCullough 18/04/2010 01:51:59 PM Comments (0)

Coach Brian Smith believes the confidence of Mitchell Pearce and Todd Carney is inspiring his Sydney Roosters' excellent start to the NRL season.

Pearce and Carney enjoyed stand-out games as the Roosters brushed aside Canberra 36-6 at the Sydney Football Stadium on Saturday, with Carney scoring two tries in a 16-point haul.

Halfback Pearce sustained a head injury in the first-half, but recovered well to impressively direct his side around the field and once again demonstrate his NSW State of Origin credentials.

Pearce had a hand in three of the Roosters' tries and produced a brilliant 40-20 kick in the opening period as the 2009 wooden spooners moved to 4-2 for the season.

The 21-year-old has not played for NSW since 2008, and Smith said his new-found maturity has seen him develop into one of the game's best playmakers.

"I didn't know Mitchell's junior footy career too well, but I coached against him when I was at Newcastle and there was one particular game where the Roosters beat us and I thought, for one so young, his competitive spirit was incredible," Smith said.

"But I thought against Canberra he did the sort of things that you expect top-line players to do and we have to not forget he has just turned 21.

"It was the performance of somebody who knew what he was doing, he really took the line on and even when he got injured ... he showed how competitive and tough he is."

Smith was delighted with the display of Carney, who was subjected to a barrage of abuse from Canberra fans as he lined up to kick a conversion, right in front of the travelling supporters.

"Can you imagine what was coming out of mouths of the Canberra fans?" Smith said.

"And the fact he puts all that to one side and puts it straight through the posts. He has got such a great demeanour and when he is like he is now, he is just great to be around."

The Roosters decided not to risk further injury to Carney after he hurt his ribs in a heavy tackle by Adam Mogg early in the second half, and were left counting their bruises after the match.

Exciting young New Zealand prop Jared Waerea-Hargreaves was left with a badly broken nose and concussion after making his long-awaited debut following his signing from Manly.

Smith said both he and Carney should be fit to face St George Illawarra on Anzac Day next Sunday, but he was unhappy with some of the heavy-handed tactics from the Raiders, who had David Shillington put on report following a high shot on Jason Ryles.

"Rylesy's modelling career is officially finished, he has got a few stitches in his face, there are a couple of things out there that we are keen to have a look at on the video," Smith said.

"Toddy Carney got a rib injury, but we decided to get him off and the doc said he might be OK for next week which would be great.

"We are a bit battered and bruised and Waerea-Hargreaves had his face re-arranged."

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