Mitchell Pearce (third from left) of the Roosters celebrates his try against the Dragons at Allianz Stadium.
Mitchell Pearce (third from left) of the Roosters celebrates his try against the Dragons at Allianz Stadium. DEAN LEWINS

The moment Pearce proved he's ready for Origin again

TO PROVE how confident Mitchell Pearce feels about his own game right now, just ask his Sydney Roosters halves partner Luke Keary about the brief conversation they had in the middle of Allianz Stadium before the Anzac Day thriller went into extra time.

Having missed his last 18 straight field-goal attempts in all forms of competitions, Pearce told Keary in no uncertain terms he wanted the chance to slot the winner.

And Pearce did just that in the 84th minute to ignite wild celebrations amongst the Roosters faithful - and spark fresh debate about why he is finally ready to return to the NSW No.7 jersey.

"It's kind of a feel thing during a game, and if you're confident and feel like you're in control in a game, you step up and take the kick," Keary said.

"The way he was playing, I thought he was the most dominant player on the field - he went over for that try, was on a real buzz - so at full-time we spoke about what we were going to do and he said, 'give me the ball'."

Pearce can help his Origin cause with another stellar performance against his good mate Kieran Foran and Shaun Johnson in Auckland on Sunday.

Keary will get his own shot at representative football when he's likely to team up with his former premiership-winning South Sydney halves partner Adam Reynolds for City Origin on Sunday week.

Keary could not split the merits of Pearce and Reynolds, two genuine candidates for the Blues playmaker role.

The cheeky five-eighth did not know what to expect from the cheekier Pearce when he first lobbed at Bondi, but had nothing but praise.

When it was pointed out that Origin always appeared every time you Googled the name "Pearce", Keary quipped: "Hopefully it's Origin and not something else.

"I haven't spoken to him about (Origin) but the way he is playing, he's putting his hand up with his performances. There are a few decent halves. I didn't know him before I came, but his head space he's in and the maturity he's shown, I think he'll make a big difference on that arena if picked.

"He's one of the boys, he loves a laugh, but he also has respect for everyone at this club."

The instant success of Keary and Pearce in the halves is a big reason the Roosters have enjoyed a solid start to the opening two months of the NRL, and are favourites to beat the Warriors in their own backyard.

News Corp Australia


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