Mogg says cut Cherry-Evans loose
FORMER Maroons flyer Adam Mogg is urging Queensland coach Mal Meninga to drop Daly Cherry-Evans for the State of Origin decider at Suncorp Stadium on July 8.
Cherry-Evans looked shaky during game two when he was installed at halfback to replace Cooper Cronk, who was sidelined with a knee injury, giving Mogg significant reason to question his Origin credentials.
It was the second time the Manly No.7 ran-on for the Maroons after he stood-in for Cronk in the corresponding game last year, but he was unconvincing on that occasion as Queensland relinquished the Origin shield for the first time in eight years.
And with Cronk set to be fit for game three, the Sunshine Coast junior said it was time to cut Cherry-Evans from the team to be named tomorrow.
"I am a Cherry-Evans fan but I haven't seen anything in any of his Origin performances to say that he can handle State of Origin and last time he looked very much out of place," he said.
"I think we should forget Cherry-Evans on the bench and go with a big physical human that we can us in the middle, rather than putting a passive defender on."
Cherry-Evans, who played for the Sunshine Coast in 2010, did his Origin selection hopes no favours in Manly's 20-8 Friday night loss to South Sydney after struggling throughout the match, which included kicking a 40-20 out on the full as well as knocking-on during an attacking raid inside the Rabbitohs 10m line.
The 26-year-old's form seems to have suffered from his controversial 2015 which included his highly publicised back-flip to join the Gold Coast Titans in favour of signing a $10 million lifetime deal to stay at Manly, which drew the ire of rugby league fans across the nation, especially Queensland.
Controversy aside, Mogg said the Maroons already had enough attacking spark in the squad to account for the loss of Cherry-Evans should Cronk be fit to play.
"I think all Cherry is is a halfback and we've got a pretty good combination in (Johnathan) Thurston and Cronk so I don't see any reason to carry Cherry-Evans on the bench," he said.
"If we do lose a half (during the match), we still have two very smart players on the field wether it be Cameron Smith and JT or JT and Cronk.
"I hope they make that (dropping Cherry-Evans) change."
NEW South Wales would be full of confidence following its 26-18 come-from-behind win over Queensland in game two, when it battered the Maroons with a superb performance from their forwards.
But with the decider to be played in Queensland and with the fixture set to be Justin Hodges' final Origin appearance, the former Sunshine Coast Sea Eagles coach reckons the Maroons will triumph and return the shield to the Sunshine State.
"We can definitely win, but I think New South Wales deserve to be favourites and the score lines across both games suggest that," he said.
"We have to pick the right team and have a really good preparation and have Cooper Cronk and JT healthy."