News | Rugby League
26 Apr 2018 2:32
NZCity News
NZCity CalculatorReturn to NZCity

  • Start Page
  • Personalise
  • Sport
  • Weather
  • Finance
  • Shopping
  • Jobs
  • Horoscopes
  • Lotto Results
  • Photo Gallery
  • Site Gallery
  • TVNow
  • Dating
  • SearchNZ
  • NZSearch
  • RugbyLeague
  • Make Home
  • About NZCity
  • Contact NZCity
  • Your Privacy
  • Advertising
  • Login
  • Join for Free

  •   Home > News > Sports > Rugby League

    Blue-chip Maloney shines as Panthers chief

    Nathan Cleary's injury could have been a make-or-break moment in James Maloney's State of Origin hopes but the ex-Shark has made sure it will be the former.

    - article from

    When Nathan Cleary went down with a knee injury last month, you could have been forgiven for thinking James Maloney's NSW jumper went with him.

    Because by the five-eighth's own admission, combinations are key in State of Origin football. And he and the seemingly Blues-bound Cleary had already appeared to strike up up a winning one.

    Maloney of all people knows about the positives and pitfalls of club combinations in Origin.

    He made his NSW debut next to then-Sydney Roosters teammate Mitchell Pearce in 2013, but lost his spot in 2014 when Pearce found himself in off-field trouble.

    Cleary, for what it's worth, is still hoping to return for Penrith slightly before the Origin side is named.

    Whether that's enough for him to get his first Blues jersey remains to be seen. But there's no doubt the injury has highlighted Maloney's prowess in his preferred role of chief playmaker again.

    "We've simplified things a fair bit to make that nice and easy," Maloney said.

    "I think it just makes it easier. I'm in control, I know what's going on because everything is going where I want it to.

    "There's no doubt we're a better side when Nathan and everyone is in there and we can build that combination but that takes a little bit longer.

    "We want to set up a real foundation and base that Nathan just falls into and can build off the back of that and add what he brings."

    Maloney has been in everything for the Panthers since replacing Cleary at No.7 after a relatively quiet opening three rounds.

    He set up two tries and scored another to beat North Queensland last week and followed it up by kicking for their only try in Sunday's win over Parramatta.

    Just as valuable has been his defence. A week after taking it to Coen Hess, he crunched the far-bigger Tony Williams on Sunday to force the ball loose.

    He also provided a key 40-metre dash to bat back a kick in his own in-goal to maintain Penrith's lead and their 4-1 start to the season.

    It's the kind of football you can't help but think Maloney is talking about when he reveals his other Origin selection philosophy aside from club combinations.

    "If you're going to be picked you need to be playing good footy at that point," he said.

    "Because there's no point getting picked if you're not going to play good footy at State of Origin - that's a waste of time.

    "I hope I'm there - there's no doubt about that. I want to be there and I can play the footy that can get me there.

    "But at the moment it's about controlling this side and making sure I'm doing what I need to here."


    © 2018 NZN, NZCity

     Other Rugby League News
     25 Apr: Melbourne show Warriors who's NRL boss
     25 Apr: Sims to take hard-hitting ways to Origin
     25 Apr: Hunt masterclass in Dragons' Anzac NRL win
     25 Apr: NRL round-eight preview panel
     25 Apr: Holmes still covets Cronulla fullback spot
     25 Apr: Cogger ready to step up for Knights
     24 Apr: NRL round-eight preview panel
     Top Stories

    Squire unlikely for French Tests More...

    NZ shares mixed ahead of Anzac Day holiday More...

     Today's News

    Rugby League:
    Melbourne show Warriors who's NRL boss 23:06

    Rugby League:
    Sims to take hard-hitting ways to Origin 22:26

    Rugby League:
    Hunt masterclass in Dragons' Anzac NRL win 22:06

    Avicii’s family have thanked his fans for their “loving words” after his death last week 21:53

    Paris Jackson has hit out at claims she is heading for a "serious meltdown” 21:23

    Thandie Newton claims she “wasn’t hot enough” to be involved in the Time’s Up movement 20:53

    Korea talks: What does China have to gain or lose from a potentially reunified Korean Peninsula? 20:26

    Dwayne Johnson has welcomed his third child into the world 20:23

    Kim Kardashian West sometimes feels “overwhelmed” by her fame 19:53

    Netball NZ refuses to let the Sunshine Girls take the Taini Jamison Trophy back to Jamaica 19:46

     News Search

    Power Search

    © 2018 New Zealand City Ltd