Infotainment Factory: Three words to make NSW tremble

Trending

>

Post Top Ad

Post Top Ad

Wednesday, 1 May 2019

Three words to make NSW tremble


//

In his weekly press conference on Thursday morning Craig Bellamy revived a ghost that has haunted dreams across NSW for more than a decade: "with my blessing".

It was part of a generous response to the increasing speculation that Cameron Smith will come out of retirement for this year's State of Origin series as Queensland stare down the barrel of successive series losses for the first time since 2005.

Preparing to select a side without any of the champions that drove a dynasty for the first time, Kevin Walters has openly admitted that he has attempted to coax the legendary 35-year-old out of retirement.

While that prospect initially looked unlikely, an injury to Roosters hooker Jake Friend and the disappointing 2019 form of incumbent No.9 Andrew McCullough has increased the desperation in Queensland to bring Smith back into the fold 12 months after he announced he was stepping down from representative football.

Bellamy, a former NSW coach who relies heavily on Smith for the Storm's club success, has more reason than anyone else to keep his captain out of the most intense arena in rugby league.

But perhaps surprisingly he gave Walters all the encouragement he is likely to need for another phone call when asked his thoughts on Smith pulling on the maroon jersey once more.

“If Cameron wanted to play Origin again, he’d do so with my blessing and I imagine the club would feel the same,” Bellamy said.

“With what he’s done for our club and the game in general if that’s what he wanted to do I wouldn’t stand in his way.”

When Smith last played Origin he put on a Suncorp Stadium masterclass that ended Laurie Daley's tenure as Blues coach, dragging the Maroons back from an embarrassing Game I loss to give the state one of its greatest triumphs - a series win against a side that finally looked like it had Queensland's measure.

In his first series out of the side, the Maroons were humbled by Brad Fittler's revamped Blues, with Damien Cook emerging as the dominant No.9; a significant departure from the status quo when when Smith was playing.

Cook has again been outstanding this season, while McCullough has dropped away, giving Walters a massive headache as he attempts to pick a spine that will also be without halfback and Queensland's possible next captain Daly Cherry-Evans.

Meanwhile, the ever-reliable Smith has once again been among the Storm's best players in a 6-1 start to the season.

His return to the Maroons squad would bring back an aura that would unsettle the Blues, a point underlined by Bellamy.

Lockyer comments on Bennett's secrets: QLDER

“If I was Kevvy I’d be really keen for him to be playing,” Bellamy said.

“Over two series they’ve lost a lot of key position players so there’s been a heap of changes to their team so to get some stability back in there would be a good thing for them.

“I think he’s playing well enough to play Origin without a doubt.

“I’m not quite sure he’d want to go back and play after making that break last year.

“I couldn’t see him doing it but stranger things have happened in our game.”

In his weekly press conference on Thursday morning Craig Bellamy revived a ghost that has haunted dreams across NSW for more than a decade: "with my blessing".

It was part of a generous response to the increasing speculation that Cameron Smith will come out of retirement for this year's State of Origin series as Queensland stare down the barrel of successive series losses for the first time since 2005.

Preparing to select a side without any of the champions that drove a dynasty for the first time, Kevin Walters has openly admitted that he has attempted to coax the legendary 35-year-old out of retirement.

While that prospect initially looked unlikely, an injury to Roosters hooker Jake Friend and the disappointing 2019 form of incumbent No.9 Andrew McCullough has increased the desperation in Queensland to bring Smith back into the fold 12 months after he announced he was stepping down from representative football.

Bellamy, a former NSW coach who relies heavily on Smith for the Storm's club success, has more reason than anyone else to keep his captain out of the most intense arena in rugby league.

But perhaps surprisingly he gave Walters all the encouragement he is likely to need for another phone call when asked his thoughts on Smith pulling on the maroon jersey once more.

“If Cameron wanted to play Origin again, he’d do so with my blessing and I imagine the club would feel the same,” Bellamy said.

“With what he’s done for our club and the game in general if that’s what he wanted to do I wouldn’t stand in his way.”

When Smith last played Origin he put on a Suncorp Stadium masterclass that ended Laurie Daley's tenure as Blues coach, dragging the Maroons back from an embarrassing Game I loss to give the state one of its greatest triumphs - a series win against a side that finally looked like it had Queensland's measure.

In his first series out of the side, the Maroons were humbled by Brad Fittler's revamped Blues, with Damien Cook emerging as the dominant No.9; a significant departure from the status quo when when Smith was playing.

Cook has again been outstanding this season, while McCullough has dropped away, giving Walters a massive headache as he attempts to pick a spine that will also be without halfback and Queensland's possible next captain Daly Cherry-Evans.

Meanwhile, the ever-reliable Smith has once again been among the Storm's best players in a 6-1 start to the season.

His return to the Maroons squad would bring back an aura that would unsettle the Blues, a point underlined by Bellamy.

Lockyer comments on Bennett's secrets: QLDER

“If I was Kevvy I’d be really keen for him to be playing,” Bellamy said.

“Over two series they’ve lost a lot of key position players so there’s been a heap of changes to their team so to get some stability back in there would be a good thing for them.

“I think he’s playing well enough to play Origin without a doubt.

“I’m not quite sure he’d want to go back and play after making that break last year.

“I couldn’t see him doing it but stranger things have happened in our game.”

http://bit.ly/2DJEfPJ
//

No comments:

Post a Comment