Mini enjoying young bucks' battle - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Mini enjoying young bucks' battle

By David Beniuk 10/06/2010 08:39:07 PM Comments (0)

Former NSW and Test fullback Anthony Minichiello has given his seal of approval to the smouldering rivalry between Jarryd Hayne and Billy Slater.

The current Blues and Queensland custodians are readying themselves for round two of a battle that has the makings of a long-term rivalry in State of Origin II next Wednesday.

Round one erupted in last Friday's bitter NRL grand final rematch between Parramatta and Melbourne, when Hayne appeared to headbutt Slater before the Storm No.1 sent his forearm on a revenge mission.

It escalated off the field when Hayne's Eels team-mates accused Kangaroos No.1 Slater of relentless sledging.

But it ended with Hayne walking from the judiciary free to take his place for round two.

"It was a really good game to watch actually," veteran Sydney Rooster Minichiello told reporters on Thursday.

"I'll be up in Brisbane, actually going to the game, so (I'm) looking forward to those two battle it out."

The 30-year-old former Golden Boot winner, who played 18 Tests for Australia between 2003-05 and nine Origins for NSW, believes a career-long rivalry between the pair is a strong possibility.

"I think it could be," he said.

"They were going at each other pretty much the full 80 minutes so no doubt it's going to be stepped up again during Origin.

"It's a lot faster and it's going to be good to see."

Before that, Minichiello and his Roosters team-mates will focus on overcoming last week's 42-18 debacle against Cronulla when they take on a depleted Melbourne outfit on Monday night.

"The games that we've lost, there's no medium with our performances, it's either pretty good or very bad so we just want to close that gap a bit," he said.

"If we do have an off night, which everyone does, hopefully we can still win games when we're not playing that well."

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