Dragons beat Roosters, Soward 'NSW ready' - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Dragons beat Roosters, Soward 'NSW ready'

Ben Horne 25/04/2011 09:11:25 PM Comments (0)

Jamie Soward gave NSW coach Ricky Stuart another fine example of his consistency in St George Illawarra's 24-10 Anzac Day win over the Sydney Roosters, but the Dragons five-eighth says it doesn't change his opinion on State of Origin one bit.

Dragons team-mates again backed Soward for the Blues No.6 shirt, but the man himself was just as quick to distance himself from their praise.

Soward always bristles when asked about Origin, because the feeling of being talked up and then ignored is all too familiar to him.

However, with Rooster Todd Carney out of the frame, Soward appears to have his best chance yet of making a debut.

"That's their opinion, my team-mates," Soward said.

"Obviously it's nice to be able to hear them talk about it but I'm not talking about it. I'm just playing footy and whatever happens, happens.

"I honestly don't think about it at all, I can genuinely say that. I don't go home and think about it or worry about it, it just doesn't come into my mind.

"Why would I? They haven't picked the team yet and they haven't said you're the man or anything."

In wet conditions at the Sydney Football Stadium on Monday in front of 34,976, Soward's kicking game controlled play and his cross-field bomb set up the only try of the first half for Mark Gasnier.

It was the born-again Dragons centre Gasnier who laid on a try immediately after halftime for Darius Boyd, which gave the defending premiers a 12-0 advantage and set up their fifth straight win.

Gasnier has firmed as a near certainty for Origin selection and Soward's blossoming combination with his right centre, must boost his own hopes.

Coach Wayne Bennett was typically guarded in his assessment of Soward's chances, but former NSW player and club captain Ben Hornby was more forthcoming.

"I think he's ready," Hornby said. "I think he's matured."

The Roosters gave themselves hope thanks to second half tries to Justin Carney and Mitchell Pearce, but tries to Brett Morris and Ben Creagh sealed the result for the Dragons.

It was Morris' first try in 830 minutes of football, and the relieved NSW flyer was another to endorse Soward for Blues duties.

"I think he's played the most consistent out of any of the players that are going around at the moment so if they're going to go off that I think he's the man," said Morris.

"It's been a long time since I scored one, so it's good to finally get over and hopefully a couple more come now."

Despite scoring, winger Carney had a forgettable day for the home side - he dropped two kicks which directly led to Gasnier's try, while he bombed a certain touch-down of his own in a horror first half.

"I think we were pretty close (to 100 per cent) but not in a couple of vital areas," said an up-beat Roosters coach, Brian Smith.

"We didn't convert all that physical pressure and territorial advantage, which is bloody hard to do against the Dragons."

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