MARTIN Kennedy says the idea of playing State of Origin keeps him awake at night – but doesn’t cross his mind during matches for Sydney Roosters.
Kennedy came away from his home state with a 12-8 win over North Queensland at the weekend. Ben Hannant’s calf injury has him firmly in the frame to represent the Maroons against NSW at ANZ Stadium on June five.
“Origin’s one of those things that keeps you up at night and it’s the reason you play footy when you’re a kid,” Kennedy tells RLW.
“I’ve got no idea what’s going to happen but if I get thrown the shirt, I’ll wear it with pride and I can’t wait.
“(But) during games … I have no idea who we are even playing the next week.”
Kennedy’s major selection rival is Brisbane’s former Samoan international Josh McGuire – and the Rooster seems to have an ally in the Broncos who do not believe McGuire is ready for the Queensland side.
“He needs to start playing some good footy for us first before anyone starts talking about Origin,” said Broncos captain Sam Thaiday.
“He’s a great talent and a good young kid but I still think he’s got a lot to learn about this beautiful game called rugby league.
“I’m sure some time in the future he’ll be donning the Maroon jersey but just ease up on him.”
Kennedy has seen seismic changes at the club he has represented since 2009, with stars Sonny Bill Williams and Michael Jennings joined by new coach Trent Robinson this season.
“Once we knew that Robbo was going to be the coach, it was pretty much ‘crack open a bottle of champagne’ because we knew exactly how good he was and we knew the boys would get behind him,” he said.
“The way all the new recruits have come in and applied their talent set to the team, it’s just been fantastic.
“I’ve been at the club since I was 17 years old and it’s just a fantastic time to be a Rooster. I just can’t get enough of it.
Kennedy said this Saturday’s clash with Melbourne at ANZ Stadium would be “absolutely massive for us.
“There’ll be some talk about us, like ‘they’ve had a big few weeks, they’ll be a bit sore, they’ll be a bit wounded they’ll limp into the game’ but if you look at the way the boys reacted after the win, that’s just not the case.”
Of the Roosters’ philosophy this year, he says: “I don’t know that it’s that revolutionary. If you don’t let them score any tries, you don’t have to score many.”
“Aiden (Guerra) is devastated with himself for allowing that inside shoulder and allowing that (Rober Lui) try. It’s the first try we haven’t had off a kick in about a month.”
Filed for: RUGBY LEAGUE WEEK