Relieved Carney relishing move - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Relieved Carney relishing move

By David Beniuk 10/07/2010 11:30:44 AM Comments (0)

Relieved Sydney Roosters star Todd Carney says the plan is for him to play out the NRL season at five-eighth after coach Brian Smith realised fullback just wasn't him.

Carney's impressive return to the NRL continued with a man of the match performance in the Roosters' 18-14 win over South Sydney on Friday night.

The richly-talented 24-year-old scored a try, laid on a 77th minute winner for Mitch Aubusson, and booted three from three to help the Roosters to back-to-back wins for the first time since rounds one and two.

Coach Smith caused a stir when he decided to play Carney at fullback for the first half of the season, a move more than justified by the former Canberra half's brilliant form there.

But the move back to pivot has brought a sigh of relief from Carney.

"Definitely, it's a position I'm familiar with and a position I've played pretty much all my life," he said.

"I can say I'm not as nervous going into games.

"Obviously at fullback, there's a lot riding on the way you play, the start of the team's set (of six).

"I thought earlier I handled it but as it went on, a few injuries and (lack of) confidence, it just wasn't me and Smithy realised that.

"He just came to me and said after the (round 14) Melbourne game (a 38-6 victory) when Pearcey (halfback Mitchell Pearce) was away, he said he's going to put me back there and he said I might have to get put back to fullback at times through the year depending on injury." Plan A, though, is to wear the No.6 jersey and Carney said the combinations with Pearce, hooker Jake Friend, lock Braith Anasta and fullback Anthony Minichiello were coming together.

The partnership with NSW halfback Pearce will have the Blues hierarchy sitting up and taking notice for next year as they search for answers to their State of Origin doldrums.

The Roosters are hopeful they have turned a corner in their inconsistent season as they begin the run to the finals after matching a brutally physical Souths outfit.

"Obviously we've had our ups and downs - a win here, a loss there - and we've got back-to-back wins which is great," Carney said.

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