Blues looking weaker: Harrison
NRRRL secretary and CRL vice-president Doug Harrison believes Ricky Stuart has picked a weaker NSW team heading into State of Origin II of the 2011 State of Origin series in Sydney, next Wednesday night.
Injuries and shock selections have paved the way for a much different looking NSW team for Origin II.
“Injuries are a concern and to pick William Hopoate in the centres is a slap in the face to Jamal Idris,” Harrison said.
“He must be feeling deflated and wondering what he has to do to make this team.”
Harrison also believes Parramatta Eels superstar Jarryd Hayne will be under a tone of pressure, after a much publicised selection snubbing in game one.
“I don’t think Hayne is switched on half the time,” Harrison said.
“The public were screaming when he didn’t get picked for game one, so the pressure is definitely on him now.
“If he has a poor game they will probably never pick him again.”
Stuart has also made the bold move of picking six second-rowers and only two specialist props.
“You live by the sword and die by the sword in rugby league,” Harrison said.
“He (Stuart) has tried to add some speed and more mobile forwards on the bench.
“Gallan will go well in the front row, he’s an 80 minute footballer and isn’t afraid to bleed for his state.
“And from what I’ve been told Ben Creagh will spend a bit of time in the front row as well.
“Having Tim Mannah in the starting pack is a big plus and I hope he plays more minutes than what he did in game one.
“He loves the hard stuff and won’t take a backward step to anyone.
“There are so many variables and what-if scenarios; I look forward to seeing what happens next Wednesday night.”