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Hasler says Ennis deserves Origin spot

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    Canterbury NRL coach Des Hasler says captain Michael Ennis deserves to hold his place at hooker for NSW in the upcoming State of Origin series.

    Selection talk suggests Ennis is being heavily pushed by Newcastle veteran Danny Buderus, a former Blues skipper who has made a strong return to the NRL this season.

    However, Hasler dismissed the excitement around Buderus as mere speculation and believes his No.9 is playing too well for the high-flying Bulldogs hooker to warrant scrutiny.

    “It’s all speculation isn’t it? Mick’s the incumbent. He’s been going very well,” said Hasler.

    It’s not the first time that the ultra-competitive Ennis has faced the prospect of an Origin showdown.

    Ennis and Wests Tigers rake Robbie Farah had an often-fiery audition process for the Blues hooking role, a jersey which was eventually won and held onto by the tenacious Bulldog.

    Buderus’ experience at Origin level has put him on the radar for coach Ricky Stuart, but Hasler said the pressure wouldn’t get to the man who has led the Bulldogs to a four and one start to the season.

    “He’s such a pro that he won’t let these things get to him,” Hasler said.

    Ennis is preparing for his 150th NRL match on Good Friday against South Sydney, having had previous stints at Newcastle, St George Illawarra and Brisbane.

    The 28-year-old said he’s not entirely happy with his form to start the year but isn’t being bogged down thinking about Origin.

    Ennis believes any competition for the No.9 shirt can only be a boost for NSW.

    “It’s always healthy when spots are to be competed for. No doubt the people in the higher places at NSW will be happy to have such competition for spots,” he said.

    “I’m always a hard marker but it’s not where I’d like to be. I’m certainly working hard on my game and adapting to a few different things. It’s early on and there’s a long way to go in this race yet. I just want to keep improving week to week.

    “(150 games) is something I’m extremely proud of and I’m grateful I get to do it in a Bulldogs jersey.”

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    The Crowd Says (2)

    • Roar Guru

      April 5th 2012 @ 9:36am
      Hoy said | April 5th 2012 @ 9:36am | ! Report

      Surprise, a coach backs his player.

      It would actually be a major talking point if Hasler came out and honestly said Ennis has had a poor few games for NSW so far, and Farah has done no better, so NSW could do worse than picking a more effective hooker in Buderus.

    • April 7th 2012 @ 9:56pm
      Mick Reynolds said | April 7th 2012 @ 9:56pm | ! Report

      Buderus all the way, Ennis is to much of a time bomb and no where near as talented as Buderus, I’ve seen many top class players go to England to play and return to the NRL & often loose there form & can never be the same top class player they where but Buderus has returned & is still in my eyes the No 1 hooker in the NRL by far if we have any chance of winning the State of Origin then Buderus is a must for the
      No 9 position.
      Newcastle Knights Premiers in 2012 🙂

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