Maroons legend backs Blues’ latest failure to pick and stick

The Maroons have blasted NSW for years for failing to pick and stick, but Queensland great Billy Slater believes the Blues latest cut-throat call to promote Cody Walker was right.

The Blues have had five different halves pairings in their last five games continuing a worrying historical trend, but Slater believes there is method to Brad Fittler’s madness.

“The Most obvious change is at No.6 with Luke Keary out and Cody Walker goes in, but you only have to look back to last year and Cody Walker was the guy that got left out after Game I last year and they go on and win the series,” Slater said on Wide World of Sports radio.

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“Brad Fittler knows what he is doing. He has obviously seen something in the dynamics of the team that he needed to change that position because it is a key position.

“Luke Keary brings a lot of danger to the team. He is obviously a lot faster than Cody Walker, but Cody Walker brings an ability to distribute the ball.

“I feel that is what NSW were lacking.”

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The problem for Fittler is his main playmaker in the Blues last two series triumphs was James Maloney, who is no longer in the team.

Keary and Nathan Cleary managed zero linebreaks, zero linebreak assists and zero try assists between them in Game I and Fittler needed to shake-up his attack with the series on the line.

“They went into their shell, especially in that second half and they played down the middle of the field,” Slater said.

Luke Keary was axed after his Origin debut.Source:Getty Images

“Then once they got behind they couldn’t change that game plan where as Cody Walker probably changed it a little bit when he came on the field.

“He just didn’t have enough of the reins to change the whole dynamics of the team, so I’d imagine the Blues will use the football a lot more in this game.

“I’m anticipating it to be a dry game and if it is I’m sure they will lose the football a lot more because Cody Walker loves that expansive game.”

Originally published asMaroons legend backs Blues’ latest failure to pick and stick

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