Pearce combo gives Carney Origin hope

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Todd Carney is hoping his partnership with Mitchell Pearce which helped guide Sydney Roosters to the 2010 grand final will give him the edge over his rivals for the NSW five-eighth spot.

Carney outshone current Blues incumbent Jamie Soward in Cronulla’s 12-0 win over St George Illawarra on Saturday and then declared himself ready for State of Origin.

It was the fourth successive win for the Sharks, and they have all coincided with Carney’s switch from halfback into the No.6 jersey, giving him a genuine chance of a maiden call-up for the Blues.

However, with Warriors five-eighth James Maloney, Newcastle’s Jarrod Mullen and Canberra skipper Terry Campese in contention along with Soward, Carney is refusing to count his chickens.

But he’s keeping his fingers crossed that his previous combination with Pearce, who’s hotly-tipped to keep his halfback spot for the Origin opener in Melbourne in May, could work work in his favour.

“Pearcey’s form is great, and he’s made for Origin. He’s tough and his form last year was really good,” he said,

“He’s a really good mate of mine and I’d love to play with him in Origin, as we worked well together. But there’s an awful long way to go before that happens.

“I’ve tried to avoid the media and not really talk about it, but there comes a time where you have to answer the questions about whether I am ready.

“I feel I am, but there’s a few other good players out there, so I all I can do is put my hand up and hope the coach picks me.”

Cronulla’s win over the Dragons propelled them into the top-four on the NRL ladder for the first time since 2008, but Carney has played down talk his current form is on par with his Dally M Medal-winning season two years ago.

“There’s been a fair bit mentioned that I am back to 2010, but I am playing a completely different role,” he said.

“I think when I hit my straps at the Roosters it was around round 10 or 15 and I have only played four games with Jeff Robson, so we’re getting there.”

© AAP 2014

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