Cartwright blasts 'injured' Cooper - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Cartwright blasts 'injured' Cooper

By David Beniuk 06/05/2010 05:36:10 PM Comments (0)

City Origin coach John Cartwright thinks playing for your NRL club 24 hours after missing the City-Country game with injury is a bit rich.

Two key players withdrew from the annual State of Origin trial this week, Country's Matt Cooper (calf) and City's Braith Anasta (ankle).

Both have been named to play for their clubs this weekend - Cooper just a day later in St George Illawarra's clash with Manly and Anasta in the Sydney Roosters' Monday night game against North Queensland.

Cooper's naming caused a storm earlier this week, with Country chairman Jock Colley saying the Dragons centre's attitude "stinks" and calling on him to be banned from playing for NSW.

"I think 24 hours is a bit tough, if they rule a guy out on a Friday and he plays on a Saturday," Cartwright said.

"I saw Braith's ankle on Monday and I didn't think there was any way he could possibly play this Friday.

"He's got an extra three days to get over that.

"I could see that he wanted to play but he was limping badly on Monday and he doesn't train much early in the week anyway.

"The fact that he plays Monday doesn't surprise me but I think if you're ruled out Friday it's a little bit hard to accept that you can play the following day."

Country coach Laurie Daley accepted Cooper's withdrawal because of the short time available to build combinations for the representative team.

Daley was non-committal on Thursday when asked if there should be a rule preventing withdrawals backing up for their clubs.

"It's a difficult one," he said.

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