Sport 'Boyd will lift shield': Blues pledge for doubtful Cordner

02:31  03 july  2018
02:31  03 july  2018 Source:   smh.com.au

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'If it was worse I would have thought of the Roosters': Cordner 's call : ' Boyd will lift shield ': Blues pledge for New Living Translation Peter swore, "A curse on me if I 'm lying-- I don't know the man!" © AAP Leading the way: Boyd Cordner at the Blues ' captain's run at Suncorp Stadium on Tuesday.

James Maloney will give the nod to Boyd Cordner to lift the State of Origin shield if the NSW captain fails to overcome a calf injury before game three.James For all his nonchalance about his kicking, the influential Blues playmaker boasts the NRL's best goal-kicking stats this year at 86.9 per cent.

Confident: Boyd Cordner.© AAP Confident: Boyd Cordner.

James Maloney will give the nod to Boyd Cordner to lift the State of Origin shield in front of a disappearing Suncorp Stadium crowd if the NSW captain fails to overcome a calf injury for the series finale.

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Just moments after his coach Brad Fittler expressed doubts over Cordner's fitness for the clash in Brisbane, the Blues skipper quickly deflected concerns about the injury at NSW's official team announcement on Monday.

But if Cordner is ruled out it will pave the way for Maloney to most likely succeed his former Roosters teammate as NSW captain, despite only weeks ago having his place in the Blues squad questioned.

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Boyd Cordner (born 9 June 1992) is an Australian professional rugby league footballer and actor who plays for the Sydney Roosters in the National Rugby League. A New South Wales, Country Origin and Australia representative player, Cordner primarily plays as a second-row and lock.

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And when asked whether he would defer to Cordner for the shield presentation if the back-rower was a no-show, NSW's most experienced player Maloney said: "One hundred per cent. I think it’s his. He’s our captain and it will be his job [to lift it].

"[But] I reckon Boydy will be sweet. He’s our captain and I’ve got little doubt he won’t be there on Wednesday [week]."

Tariq Sims will become the 13th NSW debutant of the series after Fittler threw him a first sky blue jumper, in part, for his ability to cover Cordner's potential absence on the left edge.

Sims, who has been NSW's 18th man for the opening two games in Melbourne and Sydney, replaces the unlucky Matt Prior.

A defiant Cordner insisted his calf complaint wasn't as concerning as the injury he had to overcome before last year's third game in Brisbane, in which the Blues were played off the park in the series decider.

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This is a mashup of Blade Runner Blues by Vangelis and Playground Love (Vibraphone Version) by Air. It gets a little discordant toward the end but the first

Like in last year's series, Cordner aggravated his calf in game two at ANZ Stadium and was sent for scans last week which revealed a strain.

"I've had soft tissue drama before, but this is not too bad," he said. "It's not a big concern to me. It was worse last year and I suppose I'm a fair bit ahead of where I was last year. Early on in the game I felt it wasn't 100 per cent, but it was good enough to get through the game with adrenalin.

"I'm confident I'll be able to get most of the training done throughout the week. There's still a lot of time and it feels good. I think I'll be right."

It's yours, mate: James Maloney (right) and Boyd Cordner.© NRL Photos It's yours, mate: James Maloney (right) and Boyd Cordner. The Blues will be desperate to accept the Origin spoils after chalking up their first clean sweep in 18 years - rather than on the back of a deflating loss - as they seek to add insult to injury for the decimated Maroons.

Origin protocol dictates the presentation traditionally takes place after the final match despite the Blues wrapping up the series in front of 80,000 NSW fans in Sydney.

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"It would be a bit dour [to do it after a loss] and you want to be going up there lifting the shield after a win," Cordner said. "I'll tell you one thing, there will be one main focus and that is to go up there [and win]."

The loss of Cordner, however unlikely, would provide a fitting script for Maloney who now has an Origin series win to complement his two NRL premierships and representative honours for his country and state.

Asked about his leadership role in the NSW squad, Maloney said: "It’s the sort of thing you’ve just got to do with the players on the roster. It’s not something you need to think too much about, it just naturally happens given a lot of debutants [have played]. It’s something I’m enjoying.

"I’ve got a lot of ownership over the team with Nathan [Cleary] as a young half as well. It’s a bit of a responsibility and I’ve enjoyed it.

"History is there to be broken [now]. It would be nice to look back and say we had a 3-0 series win over Queensland. That’s a big statement and it’s only happened twice in 21 years. It doesn’t happen all the time. It’s not something that’s easy to come by.

"In all the dominance Queensland have had I think they’ve only done it once. You can’t set your goal on anything else and we’ll do everything we can to make it happen."

Slater outpolled for Origin medal: Lockyer .
Queensland champion Billy Slater has become the first player to claim the Wally Lewis medal from the losing side of a State of Origin series.Kangaroos selector Darren Lockyer has defended the decision to crown Billy Slater the best player of this year's State of Origin series despite playing in just two of the three matches.

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