NSW Halves 2013

The Red V

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Apr 24, 2013
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Starring down the barrell of 8 in a row who would be your halves. IMO it is between the following 6 players:

1. Mitchell Pearce - To me he is not a representative halfback. He struggles at times to be a NRL halfback. The only thing that goes in his favour is his defence is second to not many. But as for a halfback that can pull off the big plays? he is not your man. Been there for a couple of years now and I don't see much improvement in him.

2. James Maloney - Very creative ball player and runs an excellent line in attack. Big question marks on his defence. But being out of New Zealand and back under the selectors nose he may get a call up if Pearce is the halfback.

3. Adam Reynolds - A complete player who has everything. Was one of the best in City v Country and would be my choice. But inexperience and his age will see him miss out.

4. Josh Reynolds - Another excellent player who never goves up. I would have him with Reynolds as my halves combination.

5. Todd Carney - There is no denying this kid has talent. One of the most talented players i've seen when he is staying out of trouble. Only concern is he gets a little star struck in the big games.

6. Peter Wallace - Why he even gets a mention I have no idea but he will be in the frame. Would be my last pick but don't be surprised if he gets a run. He is Daley's love child

My Selection would be Josh Reynolds / Adam Reynolds

What would be yours? and what are your thoughts?
 
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morkel

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Pearce:
I have exactly the same opinion as everyone who's not a NSW selector.

Maloney:
He's looking good at the moment because he is working behind some big forwards who are giving him space. Both him & Pearce are looking far better than they would than if they were in a grinding Origin situation. His defence, as mentioned by just about everyone else, is quite likely the poorest of any half in the NRL. Some observers have likened his play to more of a second fullback, roaming around sniffing out opportunities. NSW don't need that - they'll likely have Hayne & Gordon in their backline (if the selectors are smart. If) who both work hard in the big games, so NSW need more of a traditional 5/8, one that can at least tackle.

A Reynolds:
No denying Adam Reynolds' short kicking game, at the moment he's the best in the league. He is a tenacious defender, but he is often shrugged off. The fact that he hangs on for a bit means that he doesn't get the missed tackle against his name, but the runner can normally get a good 2-3 metres and a fast play-the-ball. But my biggest criticism is his attack. It looks great against a retreating defence but that will happen a lot less in Origin than for his club. But against a solid defensive line he rarely has options. Yes, he has a better running game, he's more of a 5/8 in that regard, but he is useless at putting others through a gap, worse than even Pearce. Having said that, this puts him in the category as no worse overall than Pearce in attack, and with the slightly poorer defence but far superior attacking kicking game, he's just ahead overall.

J Reynolds:
Up until last week I thought that he's be perfect for the role. I really don't like him, he's a grubby little flea, but the way he'd been playing was really suited to the grind. Never, ever giving up, competing for every scrap, you need someone like that. Recent games however have highlighted how limited he is when he doesn't have his big forwards holding the defensive line back and giving him room to scurry out the back. If he had a halfback beside him who could take on the line and cause that hesitation in the defence, he'd have a shot. But NSW have no one who can compete with Thurston or even the Cronk / Smith unit, meaning Josh is a victim of NSW's current options.

Carney:
Looked pretty ordinary last year but was still miles above Pearce. I can't believe Pearce keeps getting off scott free and players like Carney are used as the scapegoat. I still believe Carney is the best of a limited bunch though. He pretty much carries the Roosters in 2010, and though he fell short in the GF, that was more from Bennett's game plan to totally nullify him, knowing Pearce on his own would do nothing. This is seemingly the same plan that Qld used - Carney had no room to move (yet still broke the line single-handedly) and NSW's attacking options came purely from very poor defensive errors from Qld or broken play. Of all of NSW's options, Carney is the most likely to pull something out of nothing, and when there's limited opportunities, it's what you need.

Conclusion:
A Reynolds & Carney.
 

Hayne Plane

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Apr 28, 2013
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I would have to agree with Adam Reynolds and Todd Carney. Pearce for me isn't up to the grade and before city country I would of said Maloney but he played pretty ordinary in that game and I don't think he is quite ready for Origin level yet.
 

Fanrrior

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Maloney would be a great addition if he can be hidden well enough on defence. At the moment its too early to call. Pearce is pretty much a given no matter what anyway which is a pity since NSW do have better options than him.
 

Fanrrior

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Maloney would be a great choice for NSW if the rest of the team can hide him on defence. If not, then he will be way too much of a liability.

No love for Campese, Soward, Mullen, and Sutton? :p
 

morkel

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Maloney would be a great choice for NSW if the rest of the team can hide him on defence. If not, then he will be way too much of a liability.

No love for Campese, Soward, Mullen, and Sutton? :p
If Campese was fit & in form, I'd definitely consider him. At the moment he's just come back from minimal football in, what, 3 years? Mullen maybe, but definitely not Soward, who is down on confidence, and Sutton who's life is being made easy by a monster pack.
 

Mr Chook

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That'a a big call coming from a Roosters supporter. Where in your opinion do you think Pearce and Maloney sit?
I could take the selfish approach and say I'd like my Roosters team intact over the Origin period but thats not the case.

Pearce v Reynolds: Pearce is better defensively. Their long kicking game is about equal. But it's Reynold's short kicking game is what wins it for me - his grubbers into the ingoal rarely go dead whereas Peace has a heavy boot and lacks that deft tough to create repeat sets. It is the appeal of repeat sets for NSW is what wins it for me. In the arm wrestle that is SOO, that could prove invaluable to put continuous pressure on the Qld's line.

Maloney v Carney: Moloney has been on fire for us for sure but Carney is the classier player. The Sharks were dreadful yesterday but Carney put on some sublime passes, unfortunately they went down (Gallen) or the line breakers (Pomeroy & Stapleton) were completely friggin useless and squandered what Carney had set up.
 

Northern_Union

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Jul 15, 2012
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As a Warriors fan i'll give this opinion on Maloney. He's a fine attacking player. Runs brave lines, has a touch of class about his passing game and can lead a side around the paddock. Defensively he can be a liability if he is asked to make decisions but one on one he is as good as any stand off in the game. His kicking game is very accurate and fairly long. His place kicking is very good as long as he isn't under a lot of pressure or under no pressure at all. He misses easy kicks under a lot of pressure and misses them under no pressure.
Carney would be my pick.
 

Muppet

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Matthew Johns rates State of Origin claims of five-eighths Todd Carney and James Maloney

Picking the man who will play alongside halfback Mitchell Pearce will be Laurie Daley's most difficult and crucial selection decision as Blues coach.
The mail indicates it has become a two-way battle between the incumbent Todd Carney and the competition's form No.6 James Maloney.

But there are important factors to consider before making the definitive selection - most notably, the need to not only pick the player on the merits of their own form but also their ability to complement the halfback in Mitchell Pearce.

With that in mind, the key to picking the right No.6 might be to focus on the strengths and weaknesses of the halfback.
Pearce is a fast, strong halfback who looks terrific when he decides to run at the defence in a direct manner, which opens his options and creates a big threat.

But Mitchell can be erratic. In recent years we've seen him struggle in maintaining control of a contest. He wants to play fast, which is great, but at times you need to slow down the tempo and play composed.

His inability to do that has lead to mistakes, inconsistency and the most crucial part of a halfback's game: identifying the right play at the right time.
Pearce has improved this part of his game substantially in 2013. Two factors have helped - a new coach in Trent Robinson and a new halves partner in Maloney.

The Pearce-Maloney combination works because the latter plays more like a halfback than a five-eighth and Pearce is a No.7 who needs someone dominant with the ability to help him maintain control of a contest.

Many coaches give the halves equal roles these days, with one playing on the left side of the field and the other on the right. But the most successful halves combinations haven't operated this way.
One of the halves must take the senior role and, from what I've seen from the Roosters this year, I would suggest Maloney is the man out on the field for the Roosters who is calling most of the shots with Pearce picking and choosing his moments.

The other factor in Maloney's favour is that he is one of the most naturally confident footballers I've ever encountered. Legend has it that when he was a young man toiling away in the lower grades at Parramatta Eels, he went by the nickname "Sterlo".
Some people say Brett Finch gave him the moniker. Finch will tell you Maloney gave it to himself.
Ask Maloney whether he thinks he could dominate an Origin series and he'd reply: "Of course I can."

This is why Maloney is the front-runner for the NSW No.6 jersey. He brings out the best football in Daley's first-pick halfback.
Carney, by contrast, has endured a difficult season. He has returned from a torn achilles, suffered a foot injury and played in a team with its mind on issues other than football.
But when he's played, he's looked good. Some of his ball playing was pure class against Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs last week, only for his creativity to be undone by outside backs who blew simple opportunities.

Carney creates a greater running threat than Maloney but lacks the latter's organised mind and ability to organise others. Carney needs a big game this weekend if he is to convince Daley that he deserves to retain his jersey over Maloney.
The Blues have a few other five-eighth contenders putting their hand up, too. John Sutton couldn't do any more to convince Daley that he is now ready for the step up.
I would give serious consideration to handing Sutton a spot on the NSW bench. The run-first-pass-second mentality he has developed under Michael Maguire is suited to Origin and Sutton's size, speed and skill could see him play halves, back-row or even centres if required.

Meanwhile, Jarrod Mullen has been in terrific form in 2013 and is without doubt Newcastle Knights' standout player.
But football can be cruel. Mullen was picked for Origin way back in 2007, before he was mentally ready to cope with the pace and the pressure. He lost his spot after one match and the hurt of it all set his career back several years.

He is now ready to go but, unfairly, will almost certainly be passed over based largely on that first experience.
And let's not forget Josh Reynolds, one of the favourites after the early few rounds.
He has fallen victim to being part of a struggling side this year.
Both Reynolds and South Sydney Rabbitohs halfback Adam Reynolds are certain to be picked for Origin football in the near future, but in the last seven years too many young Blues players have been used and abused in a selection climate of instability.
Give them another twelve months of first-grade football and we'll all be asking "Can they dominate a State of Origin series?", rather than "Will they handle it?".


Read more: http://www.foxsports.com.au/league/state-of-origin/matthew-johns-rates-state-of-origin-claims-of-five-eighths-todd-carney-and-james-maloney/story-fn31yxah-1226634354912#ixzz2SBofXfQb
 

Muppet

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Great point on the Reynolds duo, if not obvious.
I'm sure at some stage they will both get a go. It just comes down to age and experience. Personally, I can't wait to see Adam get his shot. He has been superb for the Rabbits. His kicking game would only be second to Cronks in the NRL.
 

$BW

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It is obvious to me just not because I am a Roosters supporter but because they are starting to form a deadly combination and compliment each other well, that Mitchell Pearce and James Maloney should be the halves. Combinations are what wins games.
Pearce to me is a defensive half back that also has a little bit of attacking flair. His influence around a team is second to none and he can control a game.
Maloney is the opposite. A bit of a defensive liability but his attacking game is great. He attacks the line more than most other five-eights and he can also give good quality ball to the players outside him. He is also a pretty handy goal kicker and considering most origin games come down to only a few points every goal kick counts.
 

TerryG

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Pearce talks up his form
Steve Orme /Sportal
Last Updated 16/05/2013 1:14 PM



NSW half-back Mitchell Pearce has boldly declared his form is the equal of any other playmaker in the NRL and admits he started visualising ways to beat Queensland months ago.

Blues coach Laurie Daley endorsed Pearce as his starting number seven last month in an attempt to take pressure off the 24-year-old amid a wave a public support for South Sydney half-back Adam Reynolds.

Pearce insists he's taking nothing for granted ahead of the team announcement on Sunday week but concedes Origin is very much on his mind.

"I won't lie, I've certainly been (thinking about Origin)," Pearce said at Sydney airport on Thursday morning.

"... I have been thinking about it and visualising a bit of stuff about it and hopefully it pays off.

"... I've been happy with the position I'm in, I think I'm going as well as the other halves, especially the last few weeks.

"Everyone's got their own opinion but I feel confident in my own ability at the moment and hopefully I can have a good couple of weeks leading into that first Origin if I get picked."

The Roosters star, already a veteran of nine Origins, admits Saturday's clash against Maroons playmaker Johnathan Thurston and the Cowboys in Townsville is the perfect dress rehearsal for Origin I on June 5.

"It's sort of worked out perfect for me personally ... playing against Manly, the Cowboys and Melbourne (next week)," Pearce said.

"You want to be playing those hard sorts of games where the defence is in your face and it's not easy to score tries and I think Origin's going to be like that.

"You've got to adjust your game a little bit from when you play a team where it's more open flowing which is probably how we've had it the first few rounds.

"I got a big learning curve out of last week's game, and that's the biggest thing over the next few weeks is getting the wins, but for me I want to do plenty of video and work out the right game going into Origin."

Meanwhile, Pearce concedes the loss of prop Jared Waerea-Hargreaves on a five-week ban for his high shot on Manly's George Rose is a major blow.

"He is a massive loss," Pearce said.

"I think he's probably been our best player this year, he's had plenty of man-of-the match awards and plenty of players' player awards.

"He's a big loss for us but that's footy and I think the best thing for us is we've got plenty of depth.

"We've got a good young pack, I'm not sure exactly who's getting picked yet because we haven't had much time to sort it out but it could be a guy like Dylan Napa or Lama Tasi and all the boys have got faith in them to do their job.