NSW must stick with Pearce: Barrett - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

NSW must stick with Pearce: Barrett

By Ian McCullough and David Beniuk 18/06/2010 06:16:46 PM Comments (0)

Fresh from one of the toughest nights in his long career, Trent Barrett has backed Mitchell Pearce to be the Blues' halfback for the next 10 years.

The Cronulla five-eighth admitted Wednesday's 34-6 humiliation by a rampant Queensland side, who sealed a fifth successive series win, was one of the lowest moments in a career that has spanned 14 seasons.

However, he said he was impressed by the young Sydney Roosters playmaker on a night of few positives for NSW.

"I roomed with Mitchell and he is a very good player, but with the limited opportunities we got with the footy it was hard for a halfback," Barrett said.

"But on the occasions we did have it, Mitch did well and I would have no hesitations leaving him in there long-term.

"It is something we should definitely do, he has all the attributes of being a good Origin player for a very long time."

Barrett said he hoped Craig Bellamy would remain as coach after his resignation was rejected by NSWRL chief executive Geoff Carr in the wake of the Suncorp Stadium humbling.

In addition to presiding over three successive series defeats, Bellamy's achievements with the all-conquering Storm have also been questioned following the salary cap scandal that saw the club stripped of two grand final wins and three minor premierships.

"It is a year that Belly will want to cross off his calendar that is for sure and he will want the year to end soon," Barrett said.

"I certainly don't see Belly as being the problem, we as players have to fix it as well.

"Craig Bellamy is a great coach and a terrific bloke and one all of the guys have a lot of respect for.

"I don't see sacking him as being the answer."

With the series now lost, the inevitable blood letting is underway in NSW, with the notoriously trigger-happy selectors under pressure to ring the changes yet again for the third match in Sydney on July 7.

Barrett's name has been in the firing line with calls for John Sutton or Terry Campese to fill the five-eighth role as the Blues look to prevent a first series whitewash by the Maroons since 1995, but the 32-year-old said he is unfazed by the speculation.

"I don't mind, it comes with the territory after a defeat, that is out of my control," he said.

"I have two weeks to play well for the Sharks and if I am chosen for the third games then fantastic and I hope I can help restore a bit of pride."

Pearce saluted the Blues' old guard of Barrett and Nathan Hindmarsh for bolstering spirits among the crestfallen players in the dressing room after the game.

"A few of the older boys were real positive after the game, they were great all week," Pearce said.

"They spoke after the game about everyone keeping their heads up and the tide will turn. I think that's true.

"It's the first time I'd met Trent and Nathan and they were champion blokes and really good leaders around the camp and I learnt a lot off them.

"I remember watching Baz when I was younger ... and it was really good asking him different questions ... you learn a lot off them."

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