Cleary is the best NSW halfback, but he didn't play well last night - although as I said earlier he was behind a well beaten pack and it goes without saying that is a very tough position for any half back. It wasn't just a beating through middle, it was a bit of a mauling. Mistakes in the left corner and Allen's terrible drop kept NSW in the game, otherwise the margin would have finished at least 16 - maybe even more, which would have been more of a reflection of the dominance of the Qld forward pack.
Only the greatest of half backs (Thurston, Johns) would have a chance of dragging their team into the game if they were wearing the NSW #7 last night and even then, not with any consistency.
My main criticism of Cleary last night was that he needed to change up his kicking game when it was becoming blatantly obvious the kick it long and high and straight to them wasn't working. Needed to find a way to get the ball to hit the deck, maybe even just look at getting a few in touch and give our big men a bit of breather because they were under the pump from the very first minute.
Yes, agree with all of that. I wouldn't give up on Cleary, and Wighton has as good a shout at 6 as anyone. I've never been wild about Keary. I didn't realise Luai was Origin eligible?