THE HALFBACK WHISPERER

When Brett Kenny played in the number 6 for the Blues, do you think he was there as a “calming influence on Sterlo”?

Do you think Fitler and Daley were ever chosen to help calm Ricky Stuart or Andrew Johns?

I have no doubt Wally Lewis was not chosen purely because of his emotional relationship with Alan Langer and Johnathan Thurston isn’t wearing the maroon jersey to make sure his halfback doesn’t Cronk out.

Laurie Daley has an amazing football brain and as collective Blues fans we all need to trust that he knows what he is doing. Daley has made no secret that James Maloney was chosen over Todd Carney as he has a calming influence on Mitchell Pearce.

What does this even mean? Does it mean he will ensure Pearce doesn’t get any more ridiculous tattoos on his body? To be fair I wouldn’t trust Todd when it comes to ink, either.

Everyone knows the famous book, The Horse Whisperer which was turned into a movie starring Robert Redford.

Will James Maloney star in the sequel, ‘The Halfback Whisperer?

What will Maloney even say to Pearce on the field? “Good luck in your ninth consecutive Origin game. I’ll be fine in my very first game – thanks for asking”. Or maybe he’ll say ” Just relax Mitch. I’ve booked Icebergs for dinner on Friday night”.

I hope I am wrong and I will be the first person to admit I am, if I am. But I have no idea how James Maloney and Mitchell Pearce will change NSW’s horrible run. A few weeks ago against Melbourne the calming influence of Jimmy Maloney couldn’t help Pearce conjure up a try when he needed to. What will happen in a bigger game, with more eye balls, more pressure than a Masterchef cook off and the best players in the world running at you under a chorus of QUEENSLANDER. I expect the result to be like Pauline Hanson’s newest political career.

Maloney might well be a great bloke. He might keep Pearce relaxed when buying him a soy latte with honey at Bill’s Cafe in Woollahra, but he won’t change the result of a game. Todd Carney played with Pearce and helped steer the Roosters to a Grand Final. Admittedly his track record of keeping people calm isn’t flawless, but surely he has the results on the board to prove he can play and play well with Mitchell Pearce.

I believe if NSW do win Game 1, it won’t be because of the halves, it will be on the back of their fearless captain and an amazingly mobile forward pack.

If the game is on the line and either Maloney or Pearce do win the game for the Blues, I will be very happy to have underestimated them.

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