A number of NSW VB Blues players remain under the close watch of medical staff. Tyson Frizell, James Tedesco and Boyd Cordner, in particular, are being closely monitored, but according to coach Laurie Daley the signs are positive. “Tyson trained [yesterday], stayed out of contact, but did most of the session,” Daley told The Daley News. “Teddy (Tedesco) trained, he’s looking really good at this stage. The only player who didn’t participate at all was Boydy, he’ll have his own training session [yesterday afternoon] and then [today] join in with the team. We’ll have a better indication [today]." Daley has indicated at least some of the players will be given a deadline of the weekend to prove their fitness. "At this stage, you'd probably want to know over the weekend [if Cordner will be fit to play], but if the other guys can get through, it might allow us to give the time to Boyd, right up until kick-off," Daley says. "It's going to be tight, but we'll work it out in the next few days."
Pearce responds to Johns
“Dumb football” – that’s how True Blues legend Andrew Johns described the manner in which NSW lost Origin II. Much of that commentary, it seemed, was directed at the spine of the side, but halfback Mitchell Pearce wasn’t offended – he agreed with some of it. "He's an Immortal of the game and Joey reads the play better than anyone," Pearce told journalists in his media call. "Some of his comments were accurate; there was some dumb footy, some ill-disciplined footy and some lack of control in the second half, so Joey was right in a few of the areas he raised. He's a passionate NSW fan like we all are and we don't like losing."
The Maroons continue to play ducks and drakes with their starting line-up. Coach Kevin Walters still has not confirmed his positional 17 for Origin III. Halfback Cooper Cronk, however, has given a big tick of approval to Michael Morgan, who is expected to shift into the slot left vacant by Johnathan Thurston at some stage. "The kid can play, he can play under pressure, his personality suits it, he's got good composure and there's no doubt whatever jersey he wears I have absolute faith in him, “ Cronk said. We’ll keep you updated with the Queensland line-up whenever it is confirmed. Watch this space. Meanwhile former NSW coach Phil Gould has expressed shock over the Maroons’ non-selection of Daly Cherry-Evans. ““I’m astonished. Absolutely astonished,” Gould said on his Six Tackles with Gus podcast. “Since we spoke last week he put in a man-of-the-match performance, he was outstanding against the Warriors. His form warranted selection in the team, there’s no risk about that.”
Today VB Blues forwards Aaron Woods and Josh Jackson face the media, while north of the border Coen Hess and Morgan are up for press duties. Catch the fallout from all of these media conferences on www.NSWRL.com.au
Laurie Daley’s men are certainly making the most of the team hotel’s spectacular setting, on the shores of Salt Beach at Kingscliff. Most of the team have been making daily appearances at the beach, swimming and bodysurfing as part of their recovery and overall rest and relaxation. “The weather’s great up here – the boys really appreciate it,” Daley said.
Star power leads sixteens
The NSW Under-16s side, named on Tuesday, assembles tomorrow at Narrabeen. The team, overseen by NSWRL Performance Programs Manager Jamie Feeney and coached by Brad Fittler and Danny Buderus, features the names Hopoate and Trbojevic. The match, played just before Origin III, will be live streamed on www.NSWRL.com.au.
Did you know?
VB Blues enforcer Aaron Woods likes to stay up until two or three in the morning leading up to a big game. He and other NSW Origin players reveal their often-strange pre-game rituals here.