Laurie Daley’s Origin halves dilemma

DALEY’S DILEMMA – WHAT ARE NSW COACH LAURIE DALEY OPTIONS FOR HIS HALVES FOR THE OPENING STATE OF ORIGIN GAME IN SYDNEY ON MAY 27?

JOSH REYNOLDS AND TRENT HODKINSON

Pros: The duo helped NSW to their first Origin series win in nine years last season, and Daley has indicated again he is keen to go with a club combination at state level.

Cons: Both Reynolds and Hodkinson are battling for form big time. Injury has been a factor in that, and they have four games to turn it around. Daley could opt for one, most likely Hodkinson, with his goalkicking a plus, and leave the other out.

LUKE KEARY

Pros: one of the game’s most promising youngsters, the South Sydney premiership winner has proven he can produce on the biggest stage and his game continues to improve.

Cons: The long-term knee injury to Adam Reynold has cruelled any hope the Souths pair had of teaming up in Origin together. There are doubts over how Keary will combine with a fellow half he doesn’t play with in the NRL. Plus he said he preferred to play for Queensland, but eligibility laws ruled otherwise.

MITCHELL PEARCE

Pros: Probably the form NSW halfback of the NRL. He is much matured from the youngster that struggled to adapt to Origin, and could form a successful NSW halves partnership with another halfback such as Hodkinson or even Jarrod Mullen given his experience at that level.

Cons: The awful form of his Roosters partner James Maloney has ruled the 2013 NSW pivot out of contention, meaning Pearce will have to match up with someone else. Plenty will say Pearce has had his chance at Origin level, time and time again, and failed.

JARROD MULLEN

Pros: Steers the Knights around the park with great composure and can ball play and take on the line. A key factor in Newcastle’s good early season form Mullen has a great kicking game that could prove crucial in Origin

Cons: Got his first NSW start as a 20-year-old, eight years ago and hasn’t had a look in since. Have the selectors marked his cards?

AIDAN SEZER

Pros: A tough No.7, whose straight forward approach could be suited to Origin. He raking left-footed kick could also be a major asset.

Cons: Would be a big gamble for Daley, the Canberra-bound playmaker is an unknown at representative level.

MATT MOYLAN

Pros: Moylan in the halves could create some real unpredictability in the Blues’ attack. The Panther is one of the leading playmakers in the NRL, and like Darren Lockyer before him is set for a move from fullback to the halves sooner rather than later. Why not now?

Cons: It would be one of the great Origin selection gambles.

LUKE BROOKS

Pros: Has already shown why he has been rated as the next Andrew Johns.

Cons: Probably not ready, a nightmare introduction to football’s toughest arena could cruel what will likely be an extended NSW career.

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