Redemption boys battle it out - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Redemption boys battle it out

By Jim Morton 20/09/2010 04:20:41 PM Comments (0)

It takes one to know one, and Greg Bird is as big an admirer as they come for reformed NRL wild child Todd Carney.

But Bird, who himself also spent a year in rugby league purgatory atoning for his sins, will have no qualms ending the red-hot Roosters five-eighth's remarkable tale of redemption one chapter short on Friday night.

The Gold Coast powerhouse has been delighted to see Carney bounce back from his 2008 sacking at Canberra but wants the fairytale finish for himself and the Titans.

"I wouldn't mind it actually," Bird said on Monday.

While Carney was pulling beers in north Queensland and playing for the Atherton Roosters, Bird travelled to France to put his career back on track with the Catalans Dragons after being dumped by Cronulla.

The 26-year-old NSW utility got to know Carney and compared their similar stories when they played together for NSW Country at Port Macquarie in May.

As sweet as Carney's Dally M medal success was, Bird knows a premiership ring is the prize he most covets.

"I'm sure that's a driving force for him and I'm sure he'd feel pretty similar to how I do, just glad to be back in this environment," he said.

"It's not fun and it doesn't feel great to be sacked.

"To be back playing ... in the semi-finals, I'm sure he'd be stoked to be in the position he is considering where he was last year.

"And I feel the same." While they teamed together for Country against City on the same night Australia beat New Zealand in the Anzac Test on May 7, the pair may be reunited next month with their form putting them squarely in the mix for Kangaroos Four Nations selection.

"We played Country together this year and spoke about how it was (to come back) and how he feels," Bird said. "It was good to get to know him and he's a good guy.

"He definitely deserves to be where he is at the moment, he won Dally M and was the best player all year - hopefully we can wrap him up." Bird is in the same position he was eight years ago when he played a preliminary final for the Sharks in just his eighth NRL match, but will have a different mindset at Suncorp Stadium.

"I was just happy to be there," he said. "When you first come to rugby league you take it for granted.

"I thought it would happen every year but it didn't.

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