Manly Sea Eagles legend Graham Eadie
Manly Sea Eagles legend Graham Eadie

Warhorse blocking young blood

I DON'T know whether the move by the Broncos to bring back Toni Carroll is such a good one.

We know he is a noted defender who worked alongside Darren Lockyer and gave Brisbane plenty of stability in that regard.

But the guy hasn't played in more than six months.

Apart from being short of match fitness, I think it sends out a signal that Broncos' coach Ivan Henjak is worried about his side's inability to stop other teams from piling on big scores against them.

Even though they didn't go down (by much) to Parra last week - it was Parramatta, hardly a team which is setting the NRL competition on fire.

I don't know why Henjak doesn't go with younger guys. Rugby league is very much a young man's sport and he has some bright stars in his ranks that will eventually become stars.

• • • 

ON the subject of youth, talk that the Titans might be interested in Lote Tuqiri simply doesn't make any sense to me.

Lote, for all his ability, isn't the fastest winger in the business and while he might put bums on seats, the Titans have shown they have plenty of speed to burn with some of the quickest wingers in the game.

I don't know where Coach John Cartwright would fit him in.

The best way for the Titans to fill the stadium is to continue playing an attractive brand of footy and letting the young guys shown their initiative on the field.

They will have to do that this weekend when they travel to chilly Canberra to take on the red-hot Raiders.

With some key forwards out, this will be a big test for the Titans who don't have a very good track record in Canberra. It's just not the Raiders you have to contend with when you play in Canberra, it's also the weather.

Cold weather was one thing I never looked forward to, having to go to Queanbeyan to play - the ground was cold and almost frozen.

The windchill was an issue and it was a case of “get the ball or get off the field” in an effort to stay warm . . . not like the sunny Gold Coast.

• • • 

ON Monday night, it will be a big test for both Manly and the Bulldogs when the two side clash at Brookvale.

For Manly, this will possibly be their best chance to get one over the Dogs who will be without a couple of key players.

There's still plenty of expectation the Sea Eagles will be there at the business end of the season but they need to overcome form sides, like the Bulldogs.

On the flipside, the Doggies have a chance to silence any doubters with a win over Manly at Brooky and show they are the “real deal”, even without a couple of star players out.

• • • 

ALSO on Monday, we will be watching with interest the NSW side picked for the third State Of Origin game.

I would be picking a side for the future rather than trying to save face at Suncorp.

The series is lost, so we should be looking ahead.

Players like Terry Campese should be given another chance, either that or the selectors should start laying the foundation for next year and making changes now, rather than in crucial games in 2010.

Perhaps this should be the swansong for some of the selectors, like Bob Fulton or Bob McCarthy.

These guys have been around for a long time and done their best but perhaps it's time for younger minds to step in.

• • • 

•  Graham 'Wombat' Eadie and The Doc can be heard talking about sport every Saturday morning on Gold Coast FM 94.1 between 7am and 9am.



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