joe_s_magpies last edited by
STORM skipper Cameron Smith and coach Craig Bellamy have called on Kangaroos selectors to reward Melbourne No. 7 Cooper Cronk with selection in the Four Nations squad named tomorrow.
Cronk was unlucky to not collect the Clive Churchill Medal ahead of Billy Slater in the Storm’s 23-16 win over Parramatta after a dominant display, and his teammates believe Cronk’s wide-ranging talent would make him a perfect addition to the squad.
Though both acknowledged Johnathan Thurston would be the first-choice halfback, Smith and Bellamy said Cronk could fill the role of bench utility.
“Coops is a very good player and could easily play State of Origin, and has played a Test for Australia before and did well,” Smith said. “He can play both halves positions, he can play hooker and you could even throw him out wider. It would be a great reward for a guy who works really hard on his game.”
Bellamy said Cronk had been frustrated to be stuck behind Thurston and Scott Prince as a third-choice Queensland No. 7 but he deserved consideration.
“Without a doubt. I think he would be an ideal guy to go on tour with them,” Bellamy said. “When he started playing with us he was basically a specialist bench player. He played five-eighth and hooker as well.”
Despite strong claims, it appears as if Cronk’s wait for further representative honours will continue. Test selectors - who picked the Churchill medallist - are likely to take Thurston and Prince and have Robbie Farah as Smith’s back-up in a 23 or 24-man squad.
Cronk wasn’t getting his hopes up yesterday. “I am very much a realist. There are some very good footballers in this competition.”
willow last edited by
Hopefully Farah is named, he’s done enough this season to warrant selection.
Tigerdave last edited by
as 2nd choice hooker definitely, Ennis just doesn’t offer anything
I reckon all Robbie’s hopes of starting at hooker were taken away when the Storm made the GF. There’ll be uproar if Smith isnt first pick for the Roos.
On a side note, who would you have at fullback? I’d go with Slater for sure.
My first post on the forum.
I would have though that Farah was a certainty for the squad. They’ll always take two hookers.
I rate him better than Smith and hope he gets a crack for Australia’s sake…
As a kiwi i would rather Smith play…
Lol Dean Richie has a blog on the Telegraph about his team and he reckons Ennis should be the backup and most of the responders agree!
Hopefully Robbie makes it, he deserves it and as the last 5 have shown, Ennis isnt as good as Farah and he has shown he isnt capable in finals footy.
Storm set to dominate Kangaroos squad
By Laine Clark and Sam Lienert AAP Tue, 06 Oct 2009 19:26:46
Injury looks set to be as influential as NRL finals form when Test selectors sit down to finalise their Four Nations squad on Wednesday.
Chairman of selectors Bob McCarthy admitted there was concern for Bulldogs prop Ben Hannant (shoulder/elbow) while Gold Coast co-captain Luke Bailey confirmed he had withdrawn from the Kangaroos train-on squad to undergo arm surgery.
The forward stocks look set to be the most hotly debated with injury clouds also over Nick Kenny (Broncos), Anthony Watmough (Manly) and Michael Weyman (St George-Illawarra) - not good news with Steve Price and Brent Kite already ruled out.
But it augured well for Melbourne trio Brett White, Ryan Hoffman and Dallas Johnson after McCarthy said the greatest emphasis would be placed on NRL finals form at the selection table.
“It will be a major factor. A lot of blokes have not played for a while but some have played on Sunday,” he told AAP.
White said at the Storm’s civic reception in Melbourne on Tuesday that it would be “a dream” if his name was read out by selectors while Johnson admitted he “wasn’t counting his chickens”.
Clive Churchill Medallist Billy Slater said the Storm trio had “warranted” a Kangaroos nod.
Melbourne’s Cameron Smith, Greg Inglis and Billy Slater are certainties.
But the odd man out may yet be the man Slater believed should have received the NRL grand final’s man of the match medal - halfback Cooper Cronk.
While McCarthy said Cronk “would be mentioned” when they settle on a 24-man squad, he said the final call on contentious decisions would be given to coach Tim Sheens, which does not sound good for the Melbourne No.7.
Sheens is believed to be favouring his former Wests Tigers playmaker - and current Gold Coast co-captain - Scott Prince as Johnathan Thurston’s back-up.
Sheens is also expected name Robbie Farah as his back-up for hooker Smith.
“If there is a deadlock it will go to the coach,” McCarthy said.
The last time Melbourne won the premiership in 2007 they had seven Australian representatives - it was also the first and last time Cronk and Johnson played for their country.
The ever-hopeful Cronk said he would “keep his mobile on” on Wednesday.
“Obviously my fingers are crossed and hopefully I get the call,” he said on Tuesday.
"I’ve had a taste of wearing the green and gold jersey once before and I want another taste of that.
“It’s a great opportunity, one of the most humbling experiences I’ve ever had.”
Meanwhile, Bailey revealed just how painful his recovering arm had been after pulling the pin on his Kangaroos chances.
Bailey will have a metal plate removed from his right forearm in an attempt to be fully fit for the start of the 2010 NRL season.
It was inserted to help heal a broken arm but it was aggravated against the Dragons in round 13.
“Two weeks out from the end of the season it was hard to brush my teeth after a game for two or three days,” Bailey told the Gold Coast Titans website.
"It was restricting my training a bit and I lost a fair bit of strength in my whole arm.
“It got to the point where it was affecting my form a bit. It is something I want to get done.”
In a boost for his Titans teammate and Maroons backrower Ashley Harrison, Queensland Rugby League boss Ross Livermore said the heroics of their Origin-winning team would not be forgotten at the selection table.
“Two of the four Test selectors are Queenslanders so the form of the Queensland Origin team will be taken into account,” he said.
Possible Four Nations squad: Billy Slater, Jarryd Hayne, Justin Hodges, Greg Inglis, Israel Folau, Darren Lockyer , Johnathan Thurston, Ben Hannant, Cameron Smith, Petero Civoniceva, Anthony Watmough, Nathan Hindmarsh, Dallas Johnson, Kurt Gidley, > Robbie Farah> , Sam Thaiday, Scott Prince, Justin Poore, Ryan Hoffman, Ben Creagh, Brett White, Michael Weyman, Josh Morris, Trent Waterhouse.
Deservedly so…what will the media loving Ennis supporters do…
willow last edited by
Melbourne Storm dominate Kangaroos squad for Four Nations tournament
By staff writers
October 07, 2009 NRL premiers Melbourne Storm have dominated the Kangaroos squad announced on Wednesday, with six players named for the inaugural Four Nations tournament.
Incumbents Cameron Smith, Greg Inglis and Billy Slater have been joined by Cooper Cronk, Brett White and Ryan Hoffman.
Parramatta, who lost the grand final to the Storm on Sunday, had two players named, superstar Jarryd Hayne and Nathan Hindmarsh.
Wests Tigers’ Robbie Farah has been included as the back up hooker behind Smith, gaining the spot ahead of Bulldogs rival Michael Ennis.
Debutants in the team include Bulldogs centre Josh Morris, Canberra Raiders’ David Shillington, White and Penrith’s Michael Jennings.
2008 premiers Manly had only one team member named in the squad, Anthony Watmough.
Congrats to Robbie on his selection!
NZTiger last edited by
Awesome! Well done robbie!
Good on Robbie, he deserves it :wahoo:
Well done Robbie, thoroughly deserved. Although I wouldn’t have blamed them if they left him out and used Cronk as the back up hooker.
Petero Civoniceva (Penrith), Cooper Cronk (Melbourne), Robbie Farah (Wests Tigers), Israel Folau (Brisbane), Paul Gallen (Cronulla), Kurt Gidley (Newcastle), Ben Hannant (Bulldogs), Jarryd Hayne (Parramatta), Nathan Hindmarsh (Parramatta), Justin Hodges (Brisbane), Ryan Hoffman (Melbourne), Greg Inglis (Melbourne), Michael Jennings (Penrith), Darren Lockyer (capt, Brisbane), Luke Lewis (Penrith), Josh Morris (Bulldogs), David Shillington (Canberra), Billy Slater (Melbourne), Cameron Smith (Melbourne), Sam Thaiday (Brisbane), Johnathan Thurston (North Queensland), Trent Waterhouse (Penrith), Anthony Watmough (Manly), Brett White (Melbourne).
Kurt Gidley (Newcastle)
Cooper Cronk (Melbourne)
Israel Folau (Brisbane)
Jarryd Hayne (Parramatta)
Justin Hodges (Brisbane)
Greg Inglis (Melbourne)
Michael Jennings (Penrith)
Darren Lockyer (capt, Brisbane)
Luke Lewis (Penrith)
Josh Morris (Bulldogs)
Billy Slater (Melbourne)
Johnathan Thurston (North Queensland)
Trent Waterhouse (Penrith)
Anthony Watmough (Manly)
Brett White (Melbourne)
Petero Civoniceva (Penrith)
Cameron Smith (Melbourne)
Sam Thaiday (Brisbane)
David Shillington (Canberra)
Ryan Hoffman (Melbourne)
Nathan Hindmarsh (Parramatta)
Robbie Farah (Wests Tigers)
Paul Gallen (Cronulla)
Ben Hannant (Bulldogs)
Juro last edited by
Great to see Robbie’s name there. Now I just hope he plays at least 1 game!