Canterbury coach Des Hasler has called for Josh Reynolds and Josh Morris to be included in the NSW State of Origin side after leading the Bulldogs to a 32-20 NRL win over Sydney Roosters.
Reynolds put in an impressive late bid for a NSW berth, scoring a stunning individual try in the 34th minute and enjoying a good allround game throughout including his kicking and in defence.
Morris continued his form resurgence after a slow start to the year as the Dogs claimed successive NRL wins for just the second time this season at ANZ Stadium on Sunday before 17,704 fans.
NSW coach Laurie Daley chooses his side for Origin I on Monday and Hasler said Reynolds’ effort should ensure his inclusion will be debated at the Blues selection table.
“He has really worked hard on the calmness of his game and the way he is controlling the game,” Hasler said.
“It’s round 11 and the combination he and Moses are building is working really well. They’re really good kids. There’s three Origins – I think there would be at least five or six there today who would be in contention.”
Hasler was more insistent on the inclusion of Morris, whose spot is under threat after being a mainstay of the Blues side for the last three seasons.
“He made a very, very, very strong claim today. Origin is built on defence,” Hasler said.
“He is an experienced campaigner. If he is not the top he is in the top two defensive centres in the game.”
Reynolds’ try added to earlier efforts from stand-in winger Tyrone Phillips, who scored three for the match.
The Roosters rallied late in the first half, after making a number of errors in the first 30 minutes.
They scored two tries in five minutes through Daniel Tupou and Latrell Mitchell, who was the Roosters’ best, for a halftime score of 18-10.
A Curtis Rona try in the 47th minute gave momentum back to the Dogs.
The Roosters then had two tries disallowed before Mitchell, who was sinbinned for a professional foul in the first half, grabbed his second in the 69th minute.
Phillips scored his third in the 72nd minute to put the result beyond doubt.
Ryan Matterson scored a consolation try for the Roosters in the 78th minute.
Coach Trent Robinson said mistakes killed the Roosters’ chance of a win.
“Again this week we just put too much pressure on ourselves with errors,” he said.
“We did well to get it back on track to 18-0 … but in the end it was disappointing for us.”
Roosters prop Jared Waerea-Hargreaves was put on report for dangerous contact for a tackle on Moses Mbye in the 42nd minute.
Canterbury were again without Will Hopoate who sat out the match due to his religious beliefs.
Mitchell Pearce tried hard but struggled to spark the Roosters side and probably hasn’t done enough to force his way into the NSW team for Origin I on June 1.
The Roosters need to win 10 of their last 13 games to make the finals.