Qld Origin selectors to play loyalty card

By Wayne Heming,

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    Former State of Origin enforcer Greg Dowling says Queensland selectors will probably play the loyalty card with veteran warhorse Petero Civoniceva but won’t be able to ignore the line-up of young props behind him for too much longer.

    With a deep pool of props to choose from for this year’s opening Origin game, selectors will have to make a few tough calls — one of them being whether to stick with Civoniceva or move into a new front-row era.

    Their most-capped forward is on record as saying he doesn’t want to be responsible for holding back a young prop because selectors feel obligated to pick him.

    He’s spoken with Queensland coach Mal Meninga but was keeping his cards close to his chest on Monday about his chances of playing his 31st Origin game in Melbourne next month.

    Civoniceva has started in the front-row in 16 of Queensland’s past 18 Origins and been the cornerstone of their amazing record six straight series wins over NSW since 2006.

    Since their 17-16 loss to the Blues in game one in 2006, his powerful charges have led Queensland to 12 wins from 15 Origins.

    It would be an extremely unpopular decision to pension off the 36-year-old even though Australian selectors appear to have done just that after overlooking him for this month’s Test against New Zealand.

    The emergence in recent years of Matt Scott, Ben Hannant, Dave Shillington, Dave Taylor and Josh McGuire has put pressure on selectors to look to the future.

    But north Queensland hardman Dowling, who played 11 Origins in the 1980s, believes they’ll stick with Civoniceva out of loyalty — at least for game one.

    “Nobody could argue Petero hasn’t been a great stalwart but there comes a time for all us,” Dowling told AAP.

    “You can go too long.

    “They’ll probably remain loyal to him for game one. That’s the beauty of Queensland’s selectors – they are very loyal.

    “If he says he wants to play, they’ll pick him.

    “(But)…. We’re not short on props but Matt Scott (foot) needs to get some games under his belt.”

    Age is quickly catching up with the 109kg Civoniceva just as it did last year with another Queensland great, Darren Lockyer.

    After major off-season surgery, he’s starting to play well although he is still short of the high standard he has set for himself in the past.

    “I’m available but I’m not too concerned about it (Origin) at the moment. My focus is doing the job for the Broncos,” Civoniceva said on Monday.

    “I spoke to Mal a few weeks ago and we had a good chat. He wanted me to concentrate on playing well for the Broncos.

    “We’ve got some good front-rowers to pick from at the moment and all I can do is make sure I’m playing my best football for Brisbane.”

    © AAP 2018

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    The Crowd Says (13)

    • May 1st 2012 @ 11:56am
      oikee said | May 1st 2012 @ 11:56am | ! Report

      Ripper, the loyalty card. Look, Petro has earnt his strips, i dont care if we are 2 nil down, let the guy finish at Suncorp in front ogf his fans, you know the fans that keep this dogs breakfast alive.
      And another thing, playing games in Melbourne, i tell you what, i will protest in KING GEORGE SQUARE to stop this from happening. You cant sell out the game at a 54 thousand stadium, it is still not sold out. They dont follow other codes so why punish the real fans in QUEENSLAND and NSW.
      Sell the game by all means, to a presold city. If Perth can presell the game, or New Zealand, sell the game to these cites. I am sick of this garbage destroying the game for greed, which will backfire. You will lose your original support if you mess with this damm game. League fans are tired of this game and its backward bloooody thinking.

    • May 1st 2012 @ 12:07pm
      Gareth said | May 1st 2012 @ 12:07pm | ! Report

      They’re under no pressure not to pick him, so he’ll get his farewell games. If only NSW had thought to market Game 3 last year as a farewell to Minichiello, Morris, Pearce, Ennis, Creagh, Bird, Gidley and Watmough and then there wouldn’t be that dilemma of whether to pick a consistent team or a winning team.

      • May 1st 2012 @ 12:44pm
        oikee said | May 1st 2012 @ 12:44pm | ! Report

        You wont have Gidley, but i like the other players and would put them in again.
        I think Queensland found the formula because we had bugger-all to choose from in the first place. So the players keep getting better and better, now we have a constant, so we only have to add every now and then, with injuries.

    • Roar Guru

      May 1st 2012 @ 1:15pm
      ScottWoodward.me said | May 1st 2012 @ 1:15pm | ! Report

      Wayne
      As per my story “Maroons Must Select Ben Barba on Bench” Petero should not have to play the loyalty card, he deserves to be there on form and history.
      Go and watch game 3 last year and he was the stand out prop. He is close to top form now indicated by his game last week for the broncos.
      To select him over Shillington is a no brainer.

    • May 1st 2012 @ 1:18pm
      Raugeee said | May 1st 2012 @ 1:18pm | ! Report

      As much as I hate quoting Phil Gould he made a tremendous comment a few years back. It isn’t a matter of QLD sticking with a winning formula, they stuck with a losing team from 2003 – 2005. Those years in the furnace of defeat moulded the great team we see now. How many times over the 32yrs have we seen out of form QLDers have absolute blinders come origin? Plenty, even the great Artie Beetson wasn’t a regular 1st grader in 1980. C’mon NSW, stick with a core constituency! F’rinstance I don’t care what form Soward is in, he has a Grand Final win, he’s Wayne Bennett trained and he made QLD look silly in game 2 last year. I’m a complete Maroons nut but I don’t want to see another 3/4 baked series!

      • May 1st 2012 @ 2:27pm
        oikee said | May 1st 2012 @ 2:27pm | ! Report

        Nothing better than seeing NSWales cooked fried and sizzled over a hot fire.
        If they start winning then we can whinge, while we have our foot well and truely on their throats, dont give them a even break. Trust me, Ricky would love nothing better than sinking his mangey foot into our boys. Yew.

        • May 1st 2012 @ 3:07pm
          Raugeee said | May 1st 2012 @ 3:07pm | ! Report

          Since the inception of State of Origin the points differential per game is 0.667 in favour of QLD. Since 2006 the 18 games have averaged 5.39 in favour of QLD. It’s not good enough. I like my Origins where one team has the audacity to stay close and win games they have absolutely no right to. As much as I hate to say it I reckon Phil Gould has to come in and do what Wayne Bennett did for QLD in 2001. I don’t think Sticky is up to it. As outgunned as NSW are at the moment there has to be an Origin spark in the squad. The spark that throws the stats book out the window and makes the team mongrel and crawl their way to a totally improbable win. Everything else is just excuses.

          • May 1st 2012 @ 3:18pm
            oikee said | May 1st 2012 @ 3:18pm | ! Report

            What are you talking about, if i remeber correctly we lost 1 game last year, the NSW commentators and reporters forgot Queensland even esisted because they were so in love with Gallen and his merry bunch of misfits. You wishing this to change so Queensland have to suffer this every year.
            Mate, your either a short memory or you need a good dose of Choppy Close to snap you out of any bad thoughts you might be having.
            Nearly as bad as saying a was born in Queensland but barrack for NSW. God help us.
            Look, we teach our kids at a early age to be true queenslanders, not this make believe support or fairy wand stuff.

            Your ok, i will keep a eye on you make sure you dont waver. Nothing worse than a queenslander feeling sorry, thats how you get your teeth kicked in. ๐Ÿ™‚ Dont laugh.

            • May 1st 2012 @ 3:43pm
              Raugeee said | May 1st 2012 @ 3:43pm | ! Report

              Oikee, I was at the very first Origin in 1980 and screamed Artie, Artie, Artie like a maniac. I NEVER want NSW to win……..however I DO miss the close, gut wrenching results.

      • May 1st 2012 @ 3:34pm
        Carlos said | May 1st 2012 @ 3:34pm | ! Report

        I agree think and think it a bad decision to ditch Soward now, he should keep the job, NSW needs his precision kicking game and tenacity.
        QLD will as usual will fall back on their salary cap rorting NSW stars and their well tuned combinations that are so difficult for a team assembled a week prior to beat.
        NSW are the underdogs with little chance of realistically taking a series, the concept of Origin is floundering with the results being so predictable. I have enjoyed every origin series since its inception but I’m thinking of taking my boy to the movies this year instead…

        • May 1st 2012 @ 3:44pm
          oikee said | May 1st 2012 @ 3:44pm | ! Report

          ๐Ÿ™‚ I dont know what to say Carlos, what is on at the pictures. (the Underdog).
          Hope it gets up for you, in the meantime i will enjoy another joyous Queensland victory and rub some more salt into your wounds come next year.
          Your not even sheading a tear here Carlos, Queensland spent the best part of 70 years as underdogs, you think i feel sorry for NSW, go watch your movie, Queenslanders will be watching our boys celebrate. ๐Ÿ™‚

          League can teach you more than a movie. We teach lessons, exspecially to NSW. How to be humble. hahahahha.

        • May 1st 2012 @ 3:47pm
          Raugeee said | May 1st 2012 @ 3:47pm | ! Report

          Is that the movie where King Wally keeps the Persians back at the battle of Thermopylae?

          • May 1st 2012 @ 3:50pm
            oikee said | May 1st 2012 @ 3:50pm | ! Report

            It could be the one where Locky slips them a micky.
            I do know this, it is a sad sight to see NSWales so dejected, so down, so defeated, then i think of icecream and fairy floss and i am all happy again. ๐Ÿ™‚

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