Sport State of Origin 2017: No room for Andrew Fifita in inaugural dream team

20:20  15 july  2017
20:20  15 july  2017 Source:   smh.com.au

Blues back Fifita to repeat Origin I magic

  Blues back Fifita to repeat Origin I magic NSW teammates are confident prop Andrew Fifita can repeat the game one heroics that had some comparing him to Origin great Arthur Beetson.Fifita was the hero of the Blues' upset of Queensland in the series-opener in Brisbane but was kept quiet by the Maroons in the second match in Sydney.

State of Origin 2017 : No room for Andrew Fifita in inaugural dream team . The Sydney Morning Herald - 15 Jul 2017 He was compared to the late, great Arthur Beetson after his game one heroics, but Andrew Fifita was subsequently so effectively shut down that he isn't considered one of the best 17

The last time Andrew Fifita was gagged before a huge game he ended 50 years of misery and should have won a Clive Chuchill Medal. NSW officials hope another week of silence from their Origin I gamebreaker will snap another rugby league curse.

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He was compared to the late, great Arthur Beetson after his game one heroics, but Andrew Fifita was subsequently so effectively shut down that he isn't considered one of the best 17 players in this year's State of Origin series.

For the first time, Australian selectors have chosen a 'Kangaroos Merit Team' that acknowledges the best performers throughout the interstate series. The initiative is the brainchild of national coach Mal Meninga and has been endorsed by the Australian Rugby League Commission.

State of Origin: Undisputed toughness has made Origin Australia's best sporting contest

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They reckon Andrew Fifita can emulate Arthur Beetson, but did Queensland's State of Origin godfather kick field goals like the man his modern day throwback? 11 July 2017 — 6:29pm. Normal text size.

By Adrian Proszenko. Updated14 June 2017 — 12:12amfirst published 13 June 2017 — 6:23pm. Given his grand final heroics and a blockbuster State of Origin performance that earned him comparisons to the Immortal Arthur Beetson, you could mount a strong case for Andrew Fifita being

The inaugural team, comprising just five Blues in the starting side, is sure to attract plenty of discussion and debate. Queenslanders take up nine of the 17 spots, with the NSW back row of Jake Trbojevic, Tyson Frizell and captain Boyd Cordner dominating the bench.

'The most consistent': James Maloney retained the faith of Kangaroos coach Mal Meninga. © Provided by Sydney Morning Herald 'The most consistent': James Maloney retained the faith of Kangaroos coach Mal Meninga. Talking points will include the omission of game-one wrecking ball Fifita, James Maloney earning the five-eighth spot ahead of Johnathan Thurston and Cameron Munster, and the omission of game-three hero Valentine Holmes.

Munster and Thurston played in only one of the three games, but made such an indelible impression that a case could be made for either of them to get the nod from Meninga and Australian selectors Bob Fulton and Darren Lockyer. However, the panel decided that players needed to be involved in at least two games to be eligible to ensure that form throughout the entire series was properly taken into consideration.

Maloney sledges QLD on eve of decider

  Maloney sledges QLD on eve of decider NSW five-eighth James Maloney has broken rank and taken a little dig at Queensland and their selection of Cameron Munster at no.6 ahead of Manly’s Daly Cherry-Evans. Speaking to Nine News, the fiery Blues playmaker couldn’t help himself when questioned about the Maroons picking the Storm youngster ahead of DCE.“He’s playing good form. Do they hate him or what?” Maloney said.“He was in good form and gave us (the Sharks) a touch-up a couple of weeks ago.“It doesn’t bother me, it doesn’t concern me. It’s not really my problem.

Updated1 June 2017 — 6:19amfirst published 31 May 2017 — 10:37pm. Andrew Fifita of the blues scores a try during game one of the State Of Origin series at Suncorp Stadium on Wednesday night.

On the charge: Andrew Fifita surges into the Queensland defence during Origin II. In saying that, I know my team and everyone knew I was a marked man, but in saying that, I just would have loved to have had some ball and do the job for my team ."

Fifita played in all three games but was largely absent in the last two, particularly given he had made such a strong impact in the opener. Indeed, that performance underlined the Cronulla prop's reputation as a big-name player after being controversially overlooked for the Clive Churchill Medal in last year's grand final win.

However, Fifita was so well contained for the rest of the series that he was overlooked in favour of David Klemmer and Dylan Napa as the two specialist props chosen.

"In game two and three they nullified him," Meninga said. "And Woodsey [Aaron Woods] as well, his effort in game one was terrific. But when you look at the standout front-rowers of the series, over three games - and it's important that you look at criteria of how they performed over the whole period - Napa and Klemmer pipped them."

Not up to standard: Andrew Fifita was so effectively nullified in games two and three that he has been omitted from the Kangaroos 'merit team'. © Getty Images Not up to standard: Andrew Fifita was so effectively nullified in games two and three that he has been omitted from the Kangaroos 'merit team'. Asked if consideration was given to Fifita on the strength of his opening game alone, Meninga said: "Absolutely, particularly on the bench. But then you look at picking the best of the best, the best 17. You put Andrew there, but then who misses out on the bench?

State of Origin 2017, Game Three: Andrew Fifita and Blues pack can't reproduce game I heroics

  State of Origin 2017, Game Three: Andrew Fifita and Blues pack can't reproduce game I heroics Just over a month ago, on this same patch of grass, Andrew Fifita was being compared to the late, great Arthur Beetson. On his latest performance on Suncorp Stadium, his self-assessment as the ninth-best prop in the game seems more apt.Fifita was the dominant figure in a dominant pack in the opening State of Origin encounter. But the forward battle, the platform on which that opening game was won, was dictated by the hosts from the outset.

Andrew Fifita 's Origin performance has Queensland ripe for the picking in game two at ANZ Stadium on June 21. By Andrew Webster. Updated1 June 2017 — 6:44amfirst published 31 May 2017 — 8:10pm.

Salt in the wound: Josh McGuire had a chirp at Andrew Fifita immediately after the final whistle. I knew they were going to come at it," Fifita said of the cannonball tackle. "In any team , if you're one of the main players, they are going to try and License this article. State of Origin . Comments disabled.

"Trbojevic? Jackson? Frizell? Who can you put out? That's what you do, this brings out opinions."

A total of 43 players were used throughout the series, a high number given the Blues stuck solid with their 17 throughout. The selectors analysed the performance of each before choosing a side that contained eight players from NSW.

While other factors - including club form, finals performances and behavioural standards - will be considered before Australia names its Rugby League World Cup squad, Meninga said Maloney had the "inside running" for the season-ending internationals.

"Absolutely. He already knows that, to be honest with you," Meninga said.

"He played in the Four Nations last year, he was our shadow for John [Thurston] for the Test matches. There's nothing to suggest his form has lapsed, his club is near the top of the ladder and he's playing great footy for Cronulla. So he's got the inside running.

"But a lot of things can happen. There is a criteria and Origin is one of those.

"Jimmy Maloney was consistent and the most consistent of the three individual five-eighths used throughout the series. Jimmy Maloney was the standout No.6 that played every game.

Andrew Johns should be NSW Origin coach - Matty Johns

  Andrew Johns should be NSW Origin coach - Matty Johns Matthew Johns has called for his brother Andrew Johns to be given a shot at coaching NSW in the next year's State of Origin series against Queensland. The Blues crashed to a 22-6 defeat to the Maroons at Suncorp Stadium on Wednesday night - losing the three-game series 2-1 despite winning the first match 28-4.Queensland has won 11 of the last 12 series but Matthew Johns is adamant 'Joey' has the mindset and game plan to change NSW's fortunes."Joey has two key ingredients: passion and tactical nous," Matthew Johns wrote in a column for the Daily Telegraph. "When Andrew played football, he was part-coach as well.

Andrew Fifita , take a bow. It was the night the controversial Cronulla prop finally stamped his authority on the Origin arena. By Michael Chammas. Updated1 June 2017 — 4:48amfirst published 31 May 2017 — 1:20pm.

A low-profile Andrew Fifita is trying to shake off a bug in the lead-up to next week's State of Origin blockbuster while also endeavouring to devise a way to unleash the beast again after being successfully shut down by Queensland in Sydney.

"His form in game one and two were pretty good and to be honest he wasn't the worst in game three.

"He tried his butt off to spark NSW."

Another Blue on Meninga's RLWC radar is James Tedesco, who beat Holmes for a wing spot.

"Billy's [Slater] game two and three was enormous and Teddy's form through the whole series was great. So we found a spot for both of them," Meninga explained.

"In the first game Val was a bit shaky but game three was a lot better. Teddy and Billy's form wasn't shaky, they deserve to be there in my opinion.

"The versatility of players is important when you look at a 24-man squad. It's important they can play in their best position but versatility is a component.

"If Billy is the fullback, Darius [Boyd] can do a job in the centres or at left wing.

"I believe Teddy can do that too. I've seen him play centre at the last World Cup for Italy. He's certainly got the skills and the physique to play there."

Meninga, who will consider Origin omissions Trent Merrin and Sam Thaiday for the upcoming Test program, said the choice of forwards caused most angst when selecting the merit team.

"NSW was dominant for game one and half of game two, then it switched over and Queensland nullified them," he said.

"That second effort in game two and dominant effort in game three gave me those other Queensland props.

"Klemmer's series was fantastic, even in game three he was one of the better players. His form was very good.

"In the back row, Wade Graham was good in game one but then you had [Matt] Gillett], and Gavin Cooper was unlucky not to make it with his performances in two or three. The forwards were a dilemma. Josh Jackson was man of the match in game two in a beaten side, so he deserves to be there somewhere.

"Boyd Cordner through just pure effort and energy had to be there. Matt Gillett's performance in game III was unbelievable. It was difficult."

No Origin bench blue, Fifita tells Sharks .
Cronulla veteran Luke Lewis says Andrew Fifita told Sharks teammates that he didn't have a bust-up with NSW coach Laurie Daley.The experienced Lewis and club captain Paul Gallen spoke to Fifita on Tuesday about reports the wrecking ball reacted angrily towards Blues coach Laurie Daley after learning he wasn't going to start in game three.

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