Dane Eldridge – Let’s Talk About Six: Who Can Cover For Todd In Origin?

New South Wales, we need a Todd Carney contingency plan.

It seems a rambunctious youth of whiskey and lead-footing combined with the rusting capabilities of the Shire’s ocean air is slowly beginning to render his body brittle and unreliable.

Right now, our incumbent five-eighth is sidelined with a busted ankle that will keep him out of commission until at least round seven. It’s an irritating and inconveniently timed absence that comes on the back of a nasty Achilles tear that took the majority of the off-season to heal.

As a state of seven-consecutive losers, we must act immediately on the anxious power that is generated from repeated beatings. Here in NSW, we cannot afford a slack preparation. Ain’t nobody got time fo’ dat.

We must assume that the Sharks pivot will not prove himself in the handful of games before selection time, and that any assumption that he may rise from his sick bed to snatch his precious jersey back into his possession like a sky blue Gollum is nothing more than a grand delusion.

Cronulla’s famous science program may not bear fruit in time. He may remain lame. He may return with unflattering performances that are eye-wateringly repugnant. Or even crazy enough, he may not even be first choice for the role?

So we, the big family from the premier state, must discuss this now so to prevent another one of those Brett Finch midnight hour scenarios from ever happening again. Take a look at the understudies.

Josh Reynolds
This crazy-eyed Bulldog possesses energy, confidence and exuberance, the exact kind of qualities that the bullyboy Queensland team has enjoyed successfully bashing out of bushy-tailed rookies in the past.

Reynolds is the darling of the Sydney media and has had many backslaps and endorsements for selection from two-faced media brown-nosers, usually when he is sitting across the interview table from them. It’s the kind of two-bob tabloid rhetoric that has won rep jerseys in Sydney before.

James Maloney
The new Roosters man is showing all of the refreshed enthusiasm of a man who has just returned from a gap year, and that’s because he just has. I didn’t see him on the footy field in 2012. Did you?

Maloney ticks all of the boxes to be a walk-up start for NSW; he courageously runs direct, confidently pots goals with the accuracy of a crossbow and is on the payroll at the Sydney Roosters.

Kurt Gidley
After the ignominy of being the eternally wincing face of NSW’s 7-year subordination and our first ever benched captain- a decision by the selection panel that I still need video of to believe- Gidley has earned the right to be released from the shackles of a ‘specialist utility’ and given a spin in the hot seat.

We owe him the enjoyment of feeling like a real footballer for NSW. Let him be totally poleaxed in the opening set of play and then allowed to frolic in later game periods that aren’t within the patronizing Buhrer-style sympathy minutes of junk time.

Jarrod Mullen
The quiet achiever of the group, Mullen has the experience and fortitude to stand up to the eyebrow singeing flames of Origin’s cauldron of encumbrance.

His premature taste of Origin from his pre-shaving days should stand him in good stead if selected. The agonising feeling of another scoreboard shellacking will feel entirely routine, and his now muscled-up rig will be able to safely withstand the horrific after-effects of more Mitchell Pearce hospital balls.

John Sutton
You just did a double take, didn’t you?

The key to a Sutton call-up lies within the selection panel’s deep affection for a convenient combination. If incumbent halfback Pearce gets measles, loss of physical dexterity or is just a victim of an evil Laurie Daley lie, then the next in line is Adam Reynolds. And who partners him at the Rabbitohs scrum base?

A Bra Boy, that’s who.

Josh McCrone
I’m including a Canberra Raider as a simple shout-out to the ever-maligned talent that plies their trade in the regional teams. If this bloke turned out his excellent form from the back-end of 2012 whilst wearing the colours of a Sydney club, he may be spoken of more frequently.

Unfortunately, having a phone that doesn’t ring at Origin time is what you get for choosing to live in Canberra.

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