Laurie Daley faces tough decision on Blues' halves
THE Origin cards are falling the right way for Roosters halves Mitchell Pearce and James Maloney to earn an Origin recall for the opening clash of the interstate series against Queensland in Sydney on May 27.
Blues' coach Laurie Daley faces a tough call on his halves pairing with a number of available options.
But after a busy representative weekend in which Maloney piloted Country to a 34-22 win over City on the back of his man-of-the-match performance, clearly overshadowing incumbent Blues No.6 Josh Reynolds, the Origin pendulum may have swung back in the favour of the Rooster's pair.
Reynolds is also facing the prospect of serving yet more time on the sidelines following some unsavoury incidents.
Those included a tripping charge on Country back-rower Tariq Sims, and a high shot on winger David Mead, which may yet jeopardise his chances of being available for Origin selection in a fortnight.
Even if he is available, his combination with Bulldog's teammate Trent Hodkinson -- the hero of last year's drought breaking series win ending Queensland's eight year dominance -- has not been that compelling.
Roosters assistant coach Justin Holbrook believes Pearce and Maloney - who combined in the 2013 interstate series loss - deserve another chance as NSW attempts to defend an interstate series for the first time since 2005.
"I'd love to see them there - I think they've been playing fantastic, both Mitchell and James," Holbrook told APN.
Holbrook conceded the Roosters' run of four consecutive losses could work against Pearce, who's played five Origin series since 2008, and Maloney in their efforts to earn a Blues recall.
But he was confident they would not let NSW down if given another shot.
"It's unfortunate because we've only just lost our games by small margins," he said.
"Had we won all those games people would probably be raving about them, so I'd like to see them there."
Blues assistant Matt Parish meanwhile declined to comment on the continued speculation surrounding who would wear the No.6 and No.7 jumpers for NSW as he soaked up coaching Samoa to a thrilling 18-16 win over Tonga, in Saturday night's Pacific nations Test match on the Gold Coast.
"Is this a New South Wales jumper (I have on) on? I don't really think it's the time and place to discuss that," he said.