Time for Qld to inject new blood: Bennett


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    Time is running out for Queensland to inject new blood into their ageing forward pack, Wayne Bennett has warned.

    The Brisbane master coach says the Maroons are at a crossroads this year and must pick the likes of Gold Coast Titans prop Jarrod Wallace to ensure they extend their stunning Origin dynasty.

    Veteran front-rowers Nate Myles and Jacob Lillyman again look set to benefit from Queensland’s famous loyalty system for May 31’s series opener after the Maroons’ record run of 10 series wins in 11 years.

    However, Bennett believes Queensland will find themselves in the rare position of playing “catch up” if they don’t start planning for the future this year.

    “You have to think about the future right now because there are a lot of issues there,” Bennett said of the Maroons team.

    “Queensland are in a great position to do that.

    “They want to win the series but they are not under pressure to win the series.

    “We know there is a generation change happening.

    “It’s whether you control that or let it get out of control and then you are playing catch up – I know what the best position is.”

    Wallace, 25, has been a revelation since leaving Brisbane and earning a starting front-row berth for the Titans this season.

    He is averaging 147m and 33 tackles a game, including his 204m effort in Gold Coast’s last round 38-36 upset over leaders Melbourne.

    Asked if Wallace should be considered for Origin I, Bennett said: “I don’t think Jarrod can do much more.

    “He’s playing a lot of minutes and they are winning games against quality teams.

    “He has a great tackle technique, he will never fail you defensively, he carries the ball well and no-one says he’s not tough.

    “It’s a tough one. Are you thinking about the future or thinking about today?”

    Queensland’s Origin I squad will be named on Monday.

    © AAP 2018

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    The Crowd Says (9)

    • May 19th 2017 @ 9:08am
      Jimmmy said | May 19th 2017 @ 9:08am | ! Report

      I agree. Wallace in and Napa as well.

    • Roar Rookie

      May 19th 2017 @ 9:48am
      up in the north said | May 19th 2017 @ 9:48am | ! Report

      I’d add Thaiday’s name to the list of generational changes required for Queensland. Loyalty is a wonderful thing but a healthy dose of pragmatism is more important.

      • May 19th 2017 @ 1:24pm
        Rob said | May 19th 2017 @ 1:24pm | ! Report

        Manly were leading 14-0 when Thaiday came on last game?

    • May 19th 2017 @ 9:50am
      The eye said | May 19th 2017 @ 9:50am | ! Report

      Truly dont get the wraps on Napa..how often do you really see a big hit…few and far between..and when they dont come,whats his game ? Not dangerous with the ball,doesnt meter-eat,no offload,no line break,average tackling stats,doesnt carry blokes thru the line..at this stage a media myth..

      • Roar Rookie

        May 19th 2017 @ 1:51pm
        Joe said | May 19th 2017 @ 1:51pm | ! Report

        Same here. He rushes out and misses more than he hits. I think he will be a defensive liability if he does that in Origin against forwards with footwork like Woods and Fifita.

      • May 20th 2017 @ 11:26am
        db said | May 20th 2017 @ 11:26am | ! Report

        I watch Napa every week and see a competent player at club level. At SOO level his ball carrying is a potential liability. I can see him regularly failing to make it past the advantage line and the ensuing ruck speed will be slow. A missed tackle whilst attempting a big hit could also prove more decisive in an Origin game than at club level.

        The game against South Sydney where Napa was outstading does appear to have been a false dawn.

    • May 19th 2017 @ 10:26am
      dayer said | May 19th 2017 @ 10:26am | ! Report

      sims and Wallace as the next bookends for qld. napa on bench thaiday and myles must be retired.

    • May 19th 2017 @ 1:20pm
      Big Daddy said | May 19th 2017 @ 1:20pm | ! Report

      Whoever decides to make the brave step over the next couple of years will benefit.
      That’s the only reason NSW hasn’t been competitive.
      His loyalty to Gallen, Pierce and Farah is one of the main reason they have failed.

    • May 19th 2017 @ 1:20pm
      Rob said | May 19th 2017 @ 1:20pm | ! Report

      Bennett is spot on. Myles and Lillyman have had their turn. Slater is starting to play well again but he has had his time as a wonderfull Rep player. I won’t be disappointed if Thurston is not selected either. He has played poorly and been injured for along period of this season. The young blokes need to be given an opportunity along side Cronk, Smith and Thaiday before they also hang up the boots.

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