True Blue Jamie Soward just wants halfback Kyle Flanagan to find his mojo again, whether that’s for the Mounties in The Knock-On Effect NSW Cup or with the Bulldogs in the NRL.
Flanagan was dropped by NRL coach Trent Barrett for Rounds 10 and 11, but has been named on the extended bench for this week’s Round 12 game against the Panthers on Saturday at BlueBet Stadium.
Soward told his weekly ‘The Short Side’ program that Flanagan had so much to offer as a player.
“I’m a massive fan of Kyle. I think this year you’ve seen his forward pack really struggle to get him on the front foot,” Soward said.
“And that hasn’t been able to paint him in the best light in terms of some of his decision-making off the back of that - he’s probably tried a little bit too hard.
“I think he’s an NRL quality player. He’s going to be able to get back into the team, whether that’s this week or not, we’ll have to wait and see,” Soward said.
“If he does go back to the Knock-On Effect with Mounties, I just want to see him getting back and playing the type of footy I know he can play … a little bit looser, a little bit not thinking as much.
“Just go out there and back his instincts because he’s so good at doing that. Hopefully we get to see Kyle back in the NRL team.”
The Panthers had their biggest scare of The Knock-On Effect NSW Cup season last weekend in the close 24-22 win over the Rabbitohs at Dubbo.
Soward said with both the NRL and NSW Cup sides undefeated many fans will be watching carefully to see if either side drops in form, and possibly suffer their first loss of 2021, over the Origin period.
“They’ll have a lot of Origin participants for NSW and then Kurt Capewell for Queensland,” he said, “So it will be interesting to see how they handle this period and who goes up into the NRL side.
“Maybe the next month is also important for (coach) Peter Wallace’s side in ‘Can they keep this ball rolling’?”