Hodges: Daly’s not Cherry ripe yet for Origin

By Darren Walton, Darren Walton is a Roar Guru

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    Queensland State of Origin great Justin Hodges says there’s no room in the Maroons line-up yet for polarising playmaker Daly Cherry-Evans.

    “Not now ‘cos there’s two superstar players in there. You’ve got JT (Johnathan Thurston) and obviously Cooper (Cronk) there,” Hodges said on Fox Sports’ Queenslanders Only program.

    “But when Cooper decides to retire, he’s probably the first man that’s going to put his hand up for that position.”

    With Thurston under an injury cloud for the series opener in Brisbane on May 31, Cherry-Evans’ name has been bandied about as a possible halves contender – or at least a spot on the bench – after helping revive Manly’s NRL season.

    But Hodges and nine-times series-winning coach Mal Meninga prefer Michael Morgan and Anthony Milford as Queensland’s super standby men.

    A grand final hero for the Sea Eagles and former Dally M halfback of the year, Cherry-Evans has yet to make his mark in six games in the Origin cauldron.

    “That’s one aspect of his career that he hasn’t got right yet, is his State of Origin football,” Hodges said.

    “I know he’s been there a few times. I played with him.

    “He just hasn’t rose to that occasion. He hasn’t fit into the side, or he might have put too much pressure on himself, too much expectation.

    “But I do think he can play Origin football.”

    So does Meninga, who blames himself in some way for DCE not kicking on in Origin, admitting the Maroons focused too much on Thurston and Cronk during Cherry-Evans’ time with the Maroons from 2013-15.

    “I was coach at the time so maybe we should have worked a bit more from a strategy point of view around Daly’s strengths,” Meninga said.

    “But we decided to stick with the norm that’s been successful for a while.

    “So in a way I probably blame myself a bit for Daly’s two adventures as a starting player.

    “But I still think that if he comes on, he’s going to do a great job for Queensland.

    “And if Cooper’s the man leading the team around, that allows Daly to express himself and do what Daly does well, which is run the footy good and just make some really good decisions with the football.”

    © AAP 2018

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    The Crowd Says (12)

    • Roar Rookie

      May 18th 2017 @ 8:54am
      William Dalton Davis said | May 18th 2017 @ 8:54am | ! Report

      I don’t think Thurston is under a cloud. I think the Cowboys are being coy due to the fact Thurston appears to be back to his old habits of coming good (injury wise) during the rep period and barely getting on the paddock for the cowboys. I think Green even came out at some point and said Thurston shouldn’t be playing the ANZAC test. And they offered him the QLD coaching gig before Walters. Smh.

    • Roar Rookie

      May 18th 2017 @ 9:57am
      Squidward said | May 18th 2017 @ 9:57am | ! Report

      Hodges seem like the type of fella that would be in the boys club and be trying to keep DCE out of it out of spite
      Ala Andrew Symonds/Hayden to Pup Clarke

      • Roar Guru

        May 18th 2017 @ 10:34am
        Hoy said | May 18th 2017 @ 10:34am | ! Report

        Only Symonds was Pups good mate until the blow up about being cut for being hung over.

    • Roar Guru

      May 18th 2017 @ 10:33am
      Hoy said | May 18th 2017 @ 10:33am | ! Report

      Cherry Evans floats sideways looking for runners… Cronk is a very direct player. They didn’t adjust at all when Cronk was absent and DCE filled in. It really left him out to dry.

    • May 18th 2017 @ 10:44am
      Mike Dugg said | May 18th 2017 @ 10:44am | ! Report

      Cherry Evans is useless and has been found out

    • May 18th 2017 @ 12:08pm
      Albo said | May 18th 2017 @ 12:08pm | ! Report

      DCE has never been regarded as a true Queenslander ! He doesn’t play for any QLD Club or Melbourne (aka South QLD). He rejected his big chance to gain some acceptance when he reneged on the Titans deal ! Doubt we will ever see him play for QLD again. There are “true” Queensland halves queuing up 10 deep to take over from Cronk & Thurston. DCE won’t stand a chance.

    • Roar Guru

      May 18th 2017 @ 12:33pm
      The Barry said | May 18th 2017 @ 12:33pm | ! Report

      They really don’t like DCE do they?

      I could count on one hand the number of times a ‘former Queensland legend’ has said that a current player isn’t ready for origin. And most of those would be a coordinated attempt to fire the player up.

      Normally it’s “once he pulls on the maroon jersey he’ll be right” but not with DCE.

      • May 18th 2017 @ 1:05pm
        Albo said | May 18th 2017 @ 1:05pm | ! Report

        He had the hide to leave QLD to go to those silvertails !
        And even worse, he speaks too ” proper ” to be a QLD legend !
        Imagine a bonding night out on the turps at Melba’s or Jupiter’s with him ? No way !

        • Roar Rookie

          May 18th 2017 @ 4:07pm
          Squidward said | May 18th 2017 @ 4:07pm | ! Report

          Yeah he’s not one of the boys. Seems to be mocked for actually being eloquent and intelligent for a Queenslander. Mind boggling

          • Roar Rookie

            May 20th 2017 @ 9:21am
            William Dalton Davis said | May 20th 2017 @ 9:21am | ! Report

            I think he cops most of his flak for having that Simpsons style noodle neck. Hodges though isn’t saying he can’t play origin just that he’d be picking a 6 to cover the 6 position. Tallis on the other hand. Now that was a roasting and a half.

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