Absence of Myles no worry for Smith
NRL: Record-breaking Queensland captain Cameron Smith says NSW will be wasting its time trying to intimidate his forwards because they have lost 30-game hard man Nate Myles to a knee injury.
Smith, who will build on his record of 36 Origins tomorrow week, admitted losing Myles in the middle was a big hit but said it wasn’t an invite to the Blues to think they could push Queensland around.
Coach Kevin Walters endorsed the promotion of New Zealand Warriors forward Jacob Lillyman into the Queensland “family” after the team doctor ruled Myles out of his 31st Origin with a knee issue that will require a scope this week.
“He’s a big loss, but Jacob has been great for the Warriors recently. He’s a great asset on and off the field and we will certainly miss his presence and his experience, which is invaluable at this level,” Smith said.
Smith conceded the Blues might see an opportunity to get aggressive early and throw their weight around against his smaller forwards.
“They may, but that’s not going to upset a guy like Josh McGuire if he gets an opportunity to start or Jacob Lillyman. He’s been here plenty of times before.
“If they (NSW) think they can come up here with Nate out and try to dominate and intimidate our forward pack, I don’t think it is going to get too many results for them.”
Queensland rugby league chairman Peter Betros, meanwhile, said he would be happy if Ben Cummings and Gerard Sutton, heavily criticised by NSW coach Laurie Daley after the Blues’ 6-4 loss in Sydney earlier this month, were appointed today.
“We don’t comment on the referees,” said Betros after announcing the 17-man squad.
“The referees are selected through a process through the NRL referees group. I think it is ludicrous for states to think they can select referees for certain games.
“That goes back to the old horse trading days of the ’70s and ’80s.
“We don’t get a say in referees and we shouldn’t get a say in referees because that will be the day the lunatics start taking over the asylum.”
Queensland, including the players involved in last night’s NRL game between Sharks and Cowboys, will head to Gladstone today for their traditional fan day outing.