SLATER DESPERATE TO RE­TURN

Stanthorpe Border Post - - NRL FOOTY TIPPING - PETER BADEL

BILLY Slater is con­fi­dent his Ori­gin career is not over, with the cham­pion Ma­roons full­back vow­ing to do everything pos­si­ble to help Queens­land save the se­ries in Game Two.

A late scratch­ing for Ori­gin I due to a ham­string in­jury, Slater sat in the Ma­roons’ sheds with a heavy heart as he rued be­ing re­duced to a spec­ta­tor in their 22-12 de­feat at the MCG on Wed­nes­day night.

Slater has an­other 16 days to prove his fit­ness for Ori­gin II and while he won’t face the Bron­cos on Sun­day in Mel­bourne, he is on track to re­turn to the Queens­land No.1 jumper at Syd­ney’s ANZ Sta­dium.

“I’d like to think I will be there for Ori­gin II,” Slater said. “My re­hab won’t be an is­sue. Sit­ting here now I don’t feel in­jured, which is frus­trat­ing, but at the end of the day I could only be guided by the doc­tors as I’ve never had a ham­string in­jury be­fore. “The phys­ios are say­ing it’s only a small tear in my ham­string, I’ve just got to get through my stages with­out push­ing the bound­aries too much.

“Hope­fully it won’t take too long. I’m still hope­ful of play­ing the New­cas­tle Knights in a week-and-a-half and if that doesn’t hap­pen, well the next time I take the field I want to be 100 per cent.

“I don’t care about the num­bers of games I play any­more, I just want to get back out there and help Queens­land save this se­ries.” A vet­eran of 29 Ori­gin games, Slater will join Queens­land’s iconic 30-game States­man’s Club if he gets the green light for the re­turn bout against NSW on June 24.

While Michael Mor­gan did a fine job as Slater’s re­place­ment, Queens­land coach Kevin Wal­ters is sweat­ing on the re­turn of the Ma­roons’ great­est full­back in Ori­gin his­tory.

“I’m hop­ing Billy will be OK,” Wal­ters said. “Michael Mor­gan was very good at the back but there is only one Billy Slater and we need him back.” Wal­ters also in­di­cated Cow­boys en­forcer Matt Scott would be re­called to in­ject some mon­grel into the Ma­roons for­ward pack .

Just a fort­night ago Scott’s 22-game Ori­gin career ap­peared to be in tat­ters af­ter he was a left out of the team for the open­ing game but Wal­ters said he was likely to be rushed in af­ter start­ing props Dy­lan Napa and Jar­rod Wal­lace were mauled by their Blues ri­vals.

“We’ll cer­tainly be look­ing at Matt

Scott,” Wal­ters said. “I have al­ways been a fan of Matt Scott and his per­for­mances over the next few weeks for the Cow­boys will be re­ally im­por­tant for what we are try­ing to achieve in Game Two. “Our mid­field wasn’t good enough.”

Ma­roons great, Billy Slate, aiming to prove his Ori­gin career is not over.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.