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Sport Maloney surprised by NSW Origin claims

14:51  18 may  2018
14:51  18 may  2018 Source:   msn.com

Maloney steers Penrith over Knights in NRL

  Maloney steers Penrith over Knights in NRL <p>Penrith star James Maloney kicked a field goal and set up the match-sealing try in a 29-18 NRL win over Newcastle.</p>Penrith were leading 18-6 on Friday night when Kalyn Ponga gave the Knights some hope by converting their sixth-straight set on the Panthers' line in the 54th minute.

In-form James Maloney can demand NSW Origin selection with a big performance for Country in Tamworth, with City coach Brad Fittler declaring stopping the Cronulla playmaker the key to victory.

In-form James Maloney can demand NSW Origin selection with a big performance for Country in Tamworth, with City coach Brad Fittler declaring stopping the Cronulla playmaker the key to victory.

  Maloney surprised by NSW Origin claims © Getty Images NSW State of Origin incumbent James Maloney admits being surprised by suggestions he has shown a lack of enthusiasm towards rookie coach Brad Fittler in the lead-up to this year's series.

The Penrith star was widely considered a lock to retain his spot Blues spot until this week, when selection adviser Greg Alexander spoke publicly of concerns over Maloney's defensive issues.

A News Corporation report added further fuel, questioning Maloney's attitude two weeks before teams are named for game one in Melbourne.

"Freddie spoke to me a few times in the lead-up to things about different things, just about stuff in my game," Maloney said.

State of Origin: Ryan Girdler picks Josh Addo-Carr, Nick Cotric and five Dragons, Tom Trbojevic misses out

  State of Origin: Ryan Girdler picks Josh Addo-Carr, Nick Cotric and five Dragons, Tom Trbojevic misses out Girds picks a team in form

They’re on opposite sides on Sunday, but City Origin centre Michael Jennings is secretly hoping Country five-eighth James Maloney impresses enough to line up alongside him for NSW in Origin I on June 5.

James Maloney has vowed to prove he is the right man to end New South Wales ' seven-year State of Origin drought.

"It's probably surprised me, the talk, because it's been no convos like that with Freddie. That surprises me because all the chats I've had with Freddie have been really good.

"Everything we've spoken about, I've been on board with what he was talking about."

Maloney's comments come as speculation reaches fever pitch about the make-up of Fittler's first team, having succeeded Laurie Daley.

Panthers jump to Maloney's NRL defence

  Panthers jump to Maloney's NRL defence Penrith star James Maloney has missed 24 more tackles than any other player in the NRL this year but his club coach believes he is still worthy of a NSW spot. Griffin did admit the 31-year-old Maloney had been responsible for some tries the team had conceded over the opening 10 rounds, but was impressed with Thursday's win over Wests Tigers.Maloney missed just the one tackle for the match as the Panthers kept the visitors tryless."He's obviously been involved in a few tries that we've let in so far this year but as you seen tonight, we worked really hard on our defence and he's worked hard on his defence," Griffin said.

Penrith Panthers James Maloney has shown why he is one of a select group of NSW players considered definite Holden State of Origin starters with an impressive defensive effort in his side's 12-6 win over the Parramatta Eels.

NSW Origin assistant Brad Fittler has stated there are up to eight NSW jerseys up for grabs and the Blues selectors are yet to settle on their halves combination. Country skipper Maloney is well aware the spotlight will be on him and Reynolds

Alexander has confirmed a number of new faces are likely as the Blues distance themselves from the pain of losing 11 of the past 12 series.

He says the NSW brains trust has whittled 40-50 initial candidates to about 20, with pretty much only the hooker to be decided.

Maloney believes experience is still vital in the interstate arena.

"Where it comes, I don't know the whole make up of the side. No doubt there will be blokes who had experience there before. There will be fresh guys," he said.

"At the end of the day, Freddie is coming into the job and if it doesn't work out he's going to be the one under fire so he'll have the side he wants. That's how its got to be.

"His head's on the chopping block, that's how the industry goes and how footy is."

The 31-year-old considers himself worthy of another crack following a strong start to the season at the Panthers, where he has steered them to second on the table despite the absence of Nathan Cleary.

Cleary made a successful return from a knee injury in Thursday's win over the Wests Tigers.

"I've been there before and don't think I've played too badly when I've been there," he said.

"I understand when you don't get the job you've got no real right to get it the next year. I'm a big believer in that because you haven't done the job.

"(But) that's what they're saying - they're going to pick on form so hopefully my form is good."

Mitchell Pearce anoints Nathan Cleary as his NSW replacement to partner James Maloney .
Pearce has a lot of praise for this bloke, and it's warranted!Cleary has made it almost impossible for Blues coach Brad Fittler to leave him out of his plans after helping Penrith secure first place on the NRL ladder with a dominant display against the in-form Dragons.

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