Anasta backs Carney for Origin II
Sydney Roosters’ skipper Braith Anasta has backed his “phenomenal” former teammate Todd Carney to put in a great performance in the second State of Origin game, should the selectors persevere with the mercurial five-eighth.
Carney didn’t play a major part in the Blues 18-10 loss last Wednesday in Melbourne, where the controversial playmaker made his Origin debut.
Roosters skipper Anasta knows better than most what Carney is capable of producing.
In 2010 he was switched to lock to accommodate Carney, who from five-eighth steered the Roosters to the NRL grand final and won the prestigious Dally M medal that year.
In game one, Carney resumed his partnership with Roosters’ halfback Mitchell Pearce.
“Toddy was a little bit quiet (in Origin one), but I think that their combination will be a lot stronger in game two,” Anasta told reporters on Friday.
“You always learn by your Origin appearances. He’s a phenomenal player and he can play it well, I’ve got no doubt about that.
“I think he’ll step it up next game and put in a great performance. He’s a great player.”
Anasta also gave a pass mark to Pearce, whose form was questioned in the weeks leading up to Origin.
“I don’t think too many people could be too critical of Pearcey, I thought he played really well,” Anasta said.
Pearce pulled up OK after Origin and is expected to line up against the Bulldogs on Monday night.
Anasta felt young centre Joseph ‘BJ’ Leilua, who was called into the NSW Origin squad, was capable of forcing his way into the team over the coming weeks.
“He’s not far away, it’s a great achievement from him and everyone at the club is very proud of him,” Anasta said.© AAP 2013
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