Give NSW Origin pack some bite: Roach - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Give NSW Origin pack some bite: Roach

By Steve Jancetic 24/05/2007 07:58:13 PM Comments (0)

Former Origin enforcer Steve Roach has called on Blues selectors to instil some mongrel into the NSW pack or risk a repeat of the meek game one surrender at Telstra Stadium next month.

The Blues forwards were powerless to stop their Queensland counterparts as the Maroons, led by front row veterans Steve Price and Petero Civoniceva, launched a stunning second half comeback to take out the series opener.

Price and Civoniceva's offensive output was matched by a some heavy hitting from backrow trio Tonie Carroll, Neville Costigan and Dallas Johnson, with NSW ball-runners put on their backsides time and time again.

Now Roach wants the Blues to give a little bit back.

And he's called for in-form Cronulla duo Greg Bird and Paul Gallen to be thrown into the mix for Origin II on June 13 at a venue the Maroons have not tasted victory at in 11 attempts.

"We've got to match brimstone with a bit of brimstone, all the do-gooders will be saying that's not the way to go but that's how Queensland go," said Roach, who played 17 games for the Blues as well as 19 Tests for Australia in a distinguished 11-year top grade career.

"It's about time we put a bit of mongrel in ourselves.

"It looked to me like Queensland were playing for their lives and played that State of Origin type game and while NSW played with great intensity, there was none of that real mongrel.

"If I was picking the side I'd be putting a few mongrels in there - I'd have Bird and Gallen in there for starters."

Roach said the Blues needed to be pro-active.

"We waited for Queensland all the time to bash us - I'd rather see a game where we can dish it out a bit too.

"That's up to the coaching staff too - they should be sending blokes out there to smash them.

"Until we stand up and not keep going the way we're going we're going to be talking about the same thing after the next game."

Bird and Gallen are sure to come under heavy consideration for game two. As are props Mark O'Meley and Jason Ryles, who would both bring a bit more aggression to a NSW pack which was far too passive.

Interchange forward Anthony Tupou's position appears under most threat after he failed to make much of an impact - making just 29 metres for the game.

The front row rotation of Brett White, Brent Kite, Luke Bailey, and Steve Simpson may also be tinkered with - the foursome combining for only 342 metres in total, well short of the 391 that Price and Civoniceva gained on their own.

The other position which could cause Blues selectors some angst is the berth occupied by Kurt Gidley.

Gidley was largely ineffective when he came on in the second half before suffering a shoulder injury which is likely to keep him out for the rest of the series.

Wests Tigers hooker Robbie Farah looms as the obvious replacement, though the Blues may opt to go for another forward on the bench and hope to squeeze 80 minutes out of hooker and skipper Danny Buderus.

Maroons No.9 Cameron Smith played the entire 80 minutes Wednesday night but Buderus played down his chances of doing the same.

"I don't think you can play 80 minutes at Origin at a high level," Buderus said.

"You've got to see how the game unfolds, whether you're tackling all the time or not."

Despite failing to stamp their imprint on the game, Blues halves Braith Anasta and Jarrod Mullen are likely to be given another shot in game two, as is winger Jarryd Hayne despite the errant pass which led to Queensland's match-winning try.

On the other side, Queensland selectors have nowhere near the same dilemmas.

Prop Antonio Kaufusi won't be there for game two after undergoing season-ending surgery on his knee.

They have an obvious replacement in Carl Webb, the man Kaufusi came into the side for as a late replacement.

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