Buderus, Carney make my NSW State of Origin team

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    A dejected New South Wales after they lost the State of Origin 3. AAP Image/Dave Hunt

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    With the 2012 State of Origin series just around the corner, the chat around who will represent New South Wales is really starting to heat up.

    Ricky Stuart has already begun his mind games, and plenty of players are emphatically stating their case for selection.

    While there is still plenty of football to be played before the team is announced, today The Roar‘s selection committee of one nominates its New South Wales Blues side for this year’s encounter.

    When selecting an Origin side, you hear plenty of strategies and countless schools of thought.

    Don’t pick players out of position. Don’t pick players out of form. Pick club combinations. Pick players who are ‘made for Origin’. Pick players with Origin experience. Stay loyal to the players you picked last time. Pick young players and build for the future. Don’t pick anyone under an injury could.

    While all have some merit, I’ve completely ignored all such policies. My strategy for picking this year’s Blues squad? The team that will give New South Wales the best chance of beating Queensland.

    Drum roll please…


    1 Josh Dugan

    He’s inconsistent and prone to costly mental errors. But he’s also a match-winner. So all in all, he’s a bit of a gamble. But having lost six series in a row, I would suggest that the Blues needs to roll the dice.

    2 Brett Morris

    He’s in sparkling form in the number one jersey for the Dragons, and is one of the deadliest finishers in the game. He’s still a bit inexperienced at fullback to be thrown into that position at Origin level, but his form warrants selection in his natural position on the wing.

    3 Michael Jennings

    The Penrith centre runs some brilliant lines. His pace, use of angles, and general speed with which he hits the line all make him a handful for defences to contain. He’s been in pretty good form for the Panthers, and was excellent in last year’s series, so he’s practically an automatic selection.

    4 Jarryd Hayne

    What’s his natural position? Who cares, select him wherever you need him. The Queenslanders were shocked and then delighted when Hayne was overlooked for Origin one last year. The fear and respect he commands north of the border demonstrates how highly he’s regarded.

    He’s a class player with an unbelievable skill set, and has consistently performed at Origin level. He needs to be in the team, period, and if that’s at right centre, so be it.

    5 Akuila Uate

    The Newcastle winger burst onto the representative scene with a stunning performance in the City versus Country match last season, and then backed that up with a brilliant debut Origin series, in which he may have been the Blues best player. The blockbusting Novocastrian is all but assured of his wing spot.

    6 Todd Carney

    This may not be a popular pick, but Origin isn’t about making friends, it’s about winning. And that’s something New South Wales hasn’t done for a long, long time.

    Drastic times call for drastic measures, and Carney is a footballing freak. You can’t teach talent, something Carney has in bucketloads, and I think he could provide New South Wales with the X-factor required to beat Queensland.

    He’s been trouble free, and that is realistically the only reason you wouldn’t pick a player with his ability. It’s time.

    7 Jarrod Mullen

    Mullen has matured this year, and his kicking game, long and short, has been very good. I like the options Mullen gives you in attack, and his defence is absolutely superb.

    I also believe Mitchell Pearce needs a rocket up his pants. Continually selecting Pearce without justification, be it club form or past Origin performances, sends the wrong message to all New South Wales players.

    8 Michael Weyman

    The big Saints prop is in great form, providing plenty of go-forward. And a few weeks ago he even scored a brilliant solo try, complete with a right foot step. Essentially picks himself.

    9 Danny Buderus

    Having watched Buderus a few times this year, it has suddenly occurred to me that most hookers in the NRL don’t actually know how to play the position.

    Perhaps it’s because they’ve been converted from another position. Or perhaps they were simply never taught the basics of dummy-half play. Whatever the reason, the ability of Buderus to quickly pick the ball up and pass it laterally to his forwards, without looking, is an incredibly important part of the hooking role.

    Too many hookers hold the ball for too long, or take a step or two sideways or backwards, or look up to see who they’re passing to, or pass the ball two to three metres backwards. Or make all four mistakes.

    Origin is the quickest rugby league in the world, and those vital half-second delays can make all the difference in gaining 10 to 15 metres per set of six. New South Wales need to pick the best dummy half. And that’s Danny Buderus by a country mile, regardless of his age.

    10 Kade Snowden

    Snowden won’t shy away from the hard work or from confronting Queensland’s big pack head on. He’s been playing pretty well for the Knights, and is bursting at the seams to have a crack at the vaunted Maroons line-up.

    11 Anthony Watmough

    The term ‘made for Origin’ is horribly overused. But there is no better way to describe Anthony Watmough. Tough, talented and hard. He also has a touch (OK, a lot) of mongrel. He’s the first forward I would pick for the Blues.

    12 Glen Stewart

    Provides an extra option in attack with his five-eighth like skills, while not shirking away from the traditional backrower’s responsibilities of running hard out wide, and helping to protect his halves in the defensive line.

    13 Paul Gallen

    I won’t insult Gallen by attempting to justify why he should be captain, let alone selected.

    Interchange
    14 Luke Lewis

    The hard working and inspirational Panther does whatever is required of his team. Every Origin team needs a player like that, and Lewis’ experience and versatility earn him a spot on the bench.

    15 Beau Scott

    If the Blues select Gallen in the front row, then I expect Scott will actually start for New South Wales. But as it stands now, the defensive juggernaut should start the game on the bench, before his work rate and defensive nous is called upon when the starting forwards tire.

    16 James Tamou

    Big, strong and athletic. If he has declared himself to be a New South Welshman rather than a Kiwi, then he should be picked. The Maroons certainly won’t be looking forward to facing a fresh and pumped up Tamou after he’s been steaming on the bench for the first 20 minutes.

    17 Kurt Gidley

    Has struggled to stay on the park this year, but if he can prove his fitness, his versatility makes him the ideal utility player off the bench.

    Let the dissection and debate begin.

    Ryan O
    Ryan O'Connell

    Ryan is an ex-representative basketballer who shot too much, and a (very) medium pace bowler. He's been with The Roar as an expert since February 2011, has written for the Seven Network, and been a regular on ABC radio. Ryan tweets from @RyanOak.

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    The Crowd Says (142)

    • April 12th 2012 @ 3:01am
      Dubble Bubble said | April 12th 2012 @ 3:01am | ! Report

      Actually a pretty good team A bit different to what I would pick but still not bad. 2 things though . 1: Mullen is a 6 not a 7. For 5 years the Knights couldn’t figure it out and it takes Bennet 3 games to realise it. Secondly I just don’t think Dugan is ready yet. Still got a lot to work to do with his undeniable talent. But since I commented on yours I’ll put mine up for a public thrashing.
      1 B.Stewart
      2. J.Hayne
      3. M.Jennings
      4. C. Lawrence
      5. A. Uate
      6. T. Carney (GK)
      7. M.Pearce
      8. T.Leahroyd Lahrs
      9. D.Buderus
      10. P.Gallen (c)
      11. B.Scott
      12. A.Watmough
      13. G.Stewart
      Bench:
      14. K Gidley (if fit. If not – R.Hinchcliffe)
      15. K.Snowden
      16. M.Weyman
      17. F.Mateo (if eligible. If not – L.Lewis)

      • April 12th 2012 @ 8:19am
        Andy said | April 12th 2012 @ 8:19am | ! Report

        Good side, the halves selection is not a bad one as they have played a fair bit together before. F.Mateo can have a number of errors in his game when pressured. L.Lewis missed a couple of tackles that led to tries in game 3 2011. P.Gallen is a good selection at prop he has to be there for NSW to be able to come close to matching QLD in the forwards.

      • Columnist

        April 12th 2012 @ 9:27am
        Ryan O'Connell said | April 12th 2012 @ 9:27am | ! Report

        Stewart vs Dugan vs Hayne at fullback was a tight call. If they go for Stewart, I’ll have no issue with it at all. But I’ve gone for Dugan because he has a slight x-factor about – which Stewart does too, but Dugan can do some freaky things on the football field.

        Mullen is a 6. But he’s also our best option at 7, in my opinion.

        • April 13th 2012 @ 5:04pm
          Barry said | April 13th 2012 @ 5:04pm | ! Report

          Pearce is our best option at 7 how can a 5/8 be the best option at halfback. we dont have thurston cronk or dce so itll have to be pearce or Wallace he had a shocker in 2010 origin but he matured in 2011 into one of the standouts pearce and wallaces form over the past 6 rds have been the best for any halfback Pearce or Wallace my pick dont think Mullen will handle Cronk

      • April 13th 2012 @ 1:15pm
        JP said | April 13th 2012 @ 1:15pm | ! Report

      • April 25th 2012 @ 1:27am
        Jack said | April 25th 2012 @ 1:27am | ! Report

        I’d say Ricky Stuart and selectors would have pencilled in a number of players by now. Obviously there are a few spots in the team that are going to be real close. If i was coaching NSW id be going with :

        1. J. Hayne (Provided Dugan hasnt had substantial game time leading up to origin due to injury)
        2. B. Morris (Form back of the competion)
        3. J. Morris/ M.Jennings (Again Jennings would be my choice provided he is match fit)
        4. C. Lawrence (Specialist Right hand side centre, big body that can contain Inglis)
        5. A. Uate (dont need to say anything here)
        6. T. Carney (Can be dangerous, Threaten Queensland, X-Factor)
        7. M. Pearce (Proved in city vs country the impact he can have. Always performed well at origin level)
        8. P. Gallen (c) (again, nothing to be said)
        9. D.Buderus (Controls ruck and speed of the game, perfect for origin footy)
        10. K. Snowden (Take QLD head on. generate good go forward)
        11. G.Bird (Tough, Ball playing second rower)
        12. G.Stewart (Provided he is fit, a must for the team, much like Bird, He is a tough ball playing second rower)
        13. L.Lewis (Outstanding form this season, picked for Australia, a definent for NSW)

        14. J.Tamou (In great form for the Cowboys, Held his own against Kiwi’s)
        15. A. Watmough (Great option of the bench. good against NZ)
        16. T. Sims/T.Williams (both provide impact of the bench. Inclined to pick Sims given the amount of footy Williams has missed)
        17. K.Gidley (Versatile of the bench. Good option at hooker. Give NSW some speed around the ruck. Give Buderus a break. If injury to halves or backs Gidley can cover a number of those postions)

    • April 12th 2012 @ 6:12am
      CizzyRascal said | April 12th 2012 @ 6:12am | ! Report

      Why not Brett Stewart?

    • April 12th 2012 @ 7:58am
      A1 said | April 12th 2012 @ 7:58am | ! Report

      Good side. I’d personally have Chris Lawrence in the centres, Hayne on the wing, and Morris nowhere near the team.

      Stewart vs Dugan is pretty much a coin flip, so no complaints there.

      I don’t care if 6 is Mullen’s better position. He’s still a better 7 than Pearce and that’s all that matters. Wallace has been playing well though and he might sneak in with another couple of strong weeks.

      The forward pack almost picks itself. I wouldn’t mind Bird in there somewhere because he’s great at Origin but you can’t squeeze everyone in.

      • April 12th 2012 @ 8:45am
        Will Sinclair said | April 12th 2012 @ 8:45am | ! Report

        Agree on Lawrence – he’s been struggling in attack behind a poor pack this season, but has been very good in defence, and is a class act.

        But geez… I’d love to see him run into some attacking form in the next few weeks.

      • April 12th 2012 @ 11:03am
        Dubble Bubble said | April 12th 2012 @ 11:03am | ! Report

        Yeah,Bird seems to be one of those often talked about ‘Origin type’ players. He always seems to perform at that level and if Stewart wasn’t available he’d get the nod at 13 for me.

      • April 13th 2012 @ 5:10pm
        Barry said | April 13th 2012 @ 5:10pm | ! Report

        Where do you rate Pearce then ireckon you eould put him below Hornby and Moltzen
        1.jt
        2.cronk
        3.dce
        4.pearce
        5.johnson
        6.wallace
        7.mullen
        8.sandow
        9.hornby
        10.walsh

    • April 12th 2012 @ 8:01am
      Andy said | April 12th 2012 @ 8:01am | ! Report

      Brett Stewart should be number 1 he has played at origin level scored and assisted tries too. Nsw have plenty of players who can make meters but they also need try-scorers and players who can assist tries to win, because that is where we are getting beaten on the score board. In addition, brett stewart is a great defender he saves alot of tries for manly, if he is not injured he should be there.

    • April 12th 2012 @ 8:07am
      Damo said | April 12th 2012 @ 8:07am | ! Report

      Thats a solid team. You know your league Ryno. Very insightful selection of players. Especially your comments about Buderus.

      Good side. Still don’t think it will beat Qld though

    • April 12th 2012 @ 8:11am
      jamesb said | April 12th 2012 @ 8:11am | ! Report

      sorry Ryan

      I actually agree more with Dubble Bubbles side

      1. B.Stewart
      2 .B.Morris
      3. M.Jennings
      4. C.Lawrence
      5. A.Uate
      6. T.Carney
      7. M.Pearce

      8. P.Gallen (c)
      9. D.Buderus
      10. T.Leahroyd Lahrs
      11. A.Watmough
      12. G.Stewart
      13. L.Lewis

      bench
      14. K.Gidley
      15. M.Weyman
      16. K.Snowden
      17. T.Sims

      I leave hayne out, because I heard that he may require surgery, which could have him out for most of the season, I think Gus alluded to this. Tariq Sims has to be in the side. Pity Tony Williams is out suspended

      • Columnist

        April 12th 2012 @ 9:30am
        Ryan O'Connell said | April 12th 2012 @ 9:30am | ! Report

        No need for apologies Jamesb! It’s a subjective process, no matter how objective you try to be.

        I would have very few issues if they selected the side you have laid out here, though if they did, I would prefer Leahroyd Lahrs came off the bench. And I outlined my feelings on Pearce in my article.

      • April 12th 2012 @ 10:40am
        cos789 said | April 12th 2012 @ 10:40am | ! Report

        very good side jamesb. I think you almost have it right.

        Pearce may be replaced by Wallace, and I’d have TLL on the bench or left right out for Merrin or Hunt. The 3 Dragons props being mentioned for selection have been very very good this year.

        I’d also get rid of Gidley, but not sure who’d replace him – best option for utility role, but thats pretty sad.

        • April 12th 2012 @ 12:22pm
          seanmaguire said | April 12th 2012 @ 12:22pm | ! Report

          Lewis is a great utility and should be in the team over Gidley and Mateo. Wallace as halfback as well, and no way should Mullen be there. He has never lived up to the media generated hype. Carney or Campese. Good call giving Gallen the captaincy though.

      • April 13th 2012 @ 6:39pm
        Doggiez said | April 13th 2012 @ 6:39pm | ! Report

        Good side not sure about Watmough though and in my opinion Pearce should be no. 7 not Wallace or Mullen(5/8) I like his form currently but please be more creative mate. Btw my opinions are based on experts from NRL on fox

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