Gasnier back in Origin contention - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Gasnier back in Origin contention

By Brent Read 20/06/2004 07:25:12 PM Comments (0)

Mark Gasnier put his hand up for a State of Origin recall on Sunday as St George Illawarra put its NRL premiership credentials on display at Oki Jubilee Stadium against the Wests Tigers.

Gasnier raced in four tries - two in each half - before leaving the field in the 60th minute with a recurrence of an ankle problem.

At the time the Dragons were leading 40-0 and his absence did little to stem the flow, with St George Illawarra going on to win 50-0 in their most complete performance of the season before a crowd of 16,915, a record for the joint venture club at the ground.

Gasnier's record-equalling haul was timed to perfection - NSW coach Phil Gould was watching in the stands in his guise as a television commentator.

And it came only a month after he was axed from the NSW side for Origin I over a late-night bonding session which also cost Anthony Minichiello his place in the Blues side.

"It's an old cliche but to be honest, everyone would love to play Origin, but my main concern is the Dragons and if I'm having fun out there, I'm happy," said Gasnier, who said Brown's decision to replace him was precautionary.

"I wanted to get involved today which was a good sign. I guess things just went my way."

Gasnier, whose teammate Matt Cooper is his major competition for a place in the NSW side, toyed with the Tigers defence in his 60 minutes on the field.

Referee Sean Hampstead, at one stage, jokingly said to the classy centre in reference to the way he escaped defenders: "You have got spiders on your back."

Captain Trent Barrett and prop Jason Ryles also did their Origin causes no harm with solid performances, with the former testing the Tigers defence at every opportunity.

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