Blues to launch bomb raid
SYDNEY (AAP): WITH two of the NRL's biggest wingers at their disposal, NSW are set to bombard Queensland with an aerial barrage in the State of Origin series opener in Brisbane on Wednesday night.
The NSW Blues gathered in Coogee today for the start of a week-long camp ahead of Wednesday night's clash at Suncorp Stadium, with coach Ricky Stuart sure to order plenty of practice with the high ball for his wingers Luke Rooney and debutant Matt King.
NSW enters game one with a distinct height advantage on the flanks, with the 192cm Rooney on one side and the 190cm King on the other.
Queensland's back three of Billy Slater (179cm) and North Queensland pair Matt Sing (183cm) and Ty Williams (180cm) are dwarfed in comparison, giving NSW a clear vertical advantage.
"You've got to get into situations to try and apply pressure with the kicks, but if the game gets up their end of the field, tackle five, certainly we've got two great catchers, and their wingers are pretty small," said NSW halfback Brett Kimmorley, whose boot will be responsible for much of the Blues kicking game.
"They're two athletic try-scoring wingers. Rooney showed last year how good he was at scoring tries in the rep games and 'Kingy' the other week just blew them away playing for Country.
"They're great runners and they're huge athletes to have in the side."
But Rooney, who played in all three games in his debut series last season, said Sing and Williams' leaping ability negated NSW's extra height.
"They're pretty good under the high ball anyway even though they're a bit smaller," Rooney said.
Stuart has already shown an inclination to use the bomb for a tall winger at a club level with the Sydney Roosters, with halfback Brett Finch pinpointing many of his bombs towards the wing of Joel Monaghan.
While their main job will be putting the finishing touches on NSW's backline moves, Kimmorley said it was important for both wingers to help out the forwards, especially with Queensland boasting a size advantage in the pack.