Kearney refusing to give up on Mortimer - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Kearney refusing to give up on Mortimer

Ian McCullough 27/05/2011 06:47:19 PM Comments (0)

Parramatta coach Stephen Kearney maintains the NRL club will not turn their back on beleaguered young playmaker Daniel Mortimer.

Mortimer was axed for last Monday's clash with Cronulla and then watched on from the sidelines as new halves combination Casey McGuire and Jeff Robson guided the Eels to an emphatic 40-6 win.

The 22-year-old will play in the NSW Cup for Wentworthville this weekend instead of travelling with his teammates to Newcastle, but Kearney insists he still has a future with the club.

"We pulled Casey into six and the lads played well on Monday night so it would be difficult to change," Kearney said.

"It is a difficult position through the halves in terms of getting it right.

"Daniel is a young half so it is going to take some time, but we have not given him a timeframe, we are committed to him and he is committed to us and we will keep working through it.

"He is a great young lad with a great attitude and I am sure he will be better for the experience."

Kearney said he'd told Mortimer in private what he expects from him to win back his place back in the side, but stressed he would not be axed before his contract expires at the end of next season, despite the arrival of Chris Sandow and Ben Roberts in 2012.

The New Zealand Test coach also admitted he was pleasantly surprised to have Jarryd Hayne available during the State of Origin series, and hailed the attitude shown by the fullback following his snub by NSW coach Ricky Stuart.

"I have been very impressed ... Jarryd has turned up to training with a great attitude, he had a good game on Monday night and did his job well, which he's been doing all season and I expect the same again tomorrow at Newcastle," he said.

"I didn't think I would have him at this time of the season, so it is good for us, but I don't make the decisions about NSW so I don't know why he wasn't picked.

"Everybody knows what he is capable of from his performances in the past, but that is a matter for selectors.

"His response since not being selected has been outstanding so maybe it could work as a positive, but whether it's something to get him back into form? Well I never thought he was out of form."

The Knights will once again be without skipper Kurt Gidley who's shoulder injury has not recovered sufficiently to be considered to face the Eels.

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