Gallen, Morris on track for Origin II

NSW skipper Paul Gallen and winger Brett Morris are both on track to be return for the must-win second State of Origin match in Melbourne.

Morris is ahead of schedule in his recovery from a hamstring strain and is considered a strong chance to play for Canterbury against his former club St George-Illawarra following the Bulldogs’ bye this week.

Ruled out by a hip injury, Gallen’s leadership was missed in the Blues’ error-ridden second half of Wednesday night’s 11-10 loss to Queensland in the series opener at ANZ Stadium.

“I’m going really well. I’ve been in full training, which is good,” Gallen told 2KY on Thursday.

“I’ll have a scrimmage session tonight with the boys which means there’ll be a lot more contact involved.

“And I’m actually going for a scan this morning to just make sure things are healing really well.

“Fingers crossed I’ll be out there in the next couple of weeks.”

Frustration echoed around NSW after the Blues twice ignored chances to kick a go-ahead field goal late in the game.

Outstanding fullback Josh Dugan also missed a game-tying one-pointer when passed the ball in the final minutes, though halfback Trent Hodkinson seemed the obvious person to take the shot.

But as the Blues camp analyse where they wrong and begin preparations to keep the series alive in Melbourne on June 17, Gallen said it was vital the Blues remained positive and not be sucked into major changes.

“We’ve got to stay positive,” he said.

“I don’t think there’s any point in making wholesale changes.

“Hopefully Brett Morris and myself can slip into the side somewhere if we’re fit.

“Luke Lewis is the only other possibility really, [and] the other guys coming back from injury or (who) played for Australia, Josh Mansour, guys like that.

“At the end of the day it was a one-point loss.

“Had we had that chance at field goal when we had the opportunity, we might not be talking about this stuff.”

Gallen also revealed he was close to finalising what is expected to be a one-year deal with Cronulla that will ensure he remains a one-club man.

“We’re not trying to argue over figures any more, that’s all sorted out,” he said.

“Because I’ve been there for so long and there’s certain things they can do, being the last year of my contract, they’re just trying to work things like that out.

“It is getting pretty close.”

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