Maloney bound for the six jersey, inadvertently keeps the whole BBQ thing going

This is James Maloney’s BBQ face. Source: Fox Sports.

This is an interesting opening paragraph to a story from the Sydney Morning Herald:

James Maloney had one hand on the NSW No.6 jersey last year, but as he puts it, “it all went to shit from there”.


In apparently keeping with the theme, the headline for the article reads:

Memories of firing blanks a valuable lesson as Maloney targets Origin

The story is a pretty good interview with Maloney as he firms as the front-runner — pending Todd Carney’s return from injury and to form — for a Blues jumper.

Fresh off being voted the Roosters’ best player through the opening six rounds in a scientific (ish) poll conducted on 26 Rounds earlier this week, he’ll line up for Country this weekend and in the form he’s currently in may force Laurie Daley’s hand to select him.

The hype is really starting to build around the five-eighth from Mudgee making his Origin debut in 2013, and from his start to the season it’s easy to see why.

He’s scored four tries in six games, averaged a line break per game and kicked 22 goals. He’s also averaging over 19 tackles a match with just three misses a game.

He — along with SBW and Michael Jennings and the superb development of JWH — have been instrumental in turning the fortunes around for a team that played like dogshit last year.

Can he reverse the fortunes of the NSW Blues?

From The Herald:

James Maloney had one hand on the NSW No.6 jersey last year, but as he puts it, “it all went to shit from there”.

On the back of a breakthrough season leading the Warriors to the 2011 grand final, Maloney was the frontrunner for the Blues five-eighth position leading into last year’s City-Country clash in Mudgee.

Former coach Ricky Stuart had even spoken to Maloney to inform him of how close he was to making his State of Origin debut.

But he crumbled – he wasn’t even picked to play for Country – and Todd Carney took the jumper.

After a miserable showing against the Raiders in the nation’s capital in round six last year – a fortnight after Stuart personally challenged him to make it impossible for him to be overlooked for NSW – the 26-year-old conceded that he’d blown his hopes of playing Origin.

He’s still unsure why he fired blanks in the build-up to last year’s representative period, but he knows his inability to find form with the Warriors cost him dearly.

“At the end of the day it was on me and it was my fault I didn’t play for Country or the Blues last year,” Maloney said.

“I knew that a couple of weeks beforehand that I’d played some pretty ordinary games. You can’t afford to do that and then have a coach pick you and have confidence in you.

“I had spoken to Ricky and he told me I was in the mix, then it all went to shit from there. That was the end of that. I don’t know what happened but it definitely wasn’t my future because that was sorted long before and that was out of my mind. As a side we had a couple of bad games and I was involved in them and wasn’t at my best myself.”

READ MORE: Memories of firing blanks a valuable lesson as Maloney targets Origin.


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