Jeff Dickinson-Fox reviews the campaign which saw Melbourne Storm crowned premiers in 2017.
4 days ago
Dual international Mat Rogers says Australian selectors would be mad to ignore Titans halfback Scott Prince for next month's Centenary Test against the Kiwis.
"He's the best," said Rogers after Prince's starring role in the Titan's 26-24 NRL win over Brisbane in which he laid on four of the Gold Coast's five tries.
"Given the chance, he'd kill it.
"...Whether they'd move (Johnathan) Thurston to five-eighth and play Prince at halfback, who knows."
Test captain and five-eighth Darren Lockyer will make decision later this week on whether he makes another comeback attempt for Brisbane against South Sydney or sacrifices his 37th Test in the hope of being right for the State of Origin series beginning May 21.
If Lockyer is forced to put his return on hold, Kangaroo selectors could seriously consider pairing Prince and Thurston in the halves given so many judges believe Prince is the best player in the NRL at the moment.
His only blemish against Brisbane was losing possession which allowed rival No.7 Peter Wallace to sprint 50 metres for a converted try that gave Brisbane a shot at snatching victory in the last two minutes.
"Mate, he's that good, he sets up tries for us and them," joked Rogers, who played five Origins for Queensland and seven Tests for Australia.
"I bet if you ask Wayne Bennett he'll be kicking himself he ever let him go."
Prince sidestepped questions about his Test claims but said later he'd be more than happy to play five-eighth if Lockyer was unavailable.
He has not pulled on the green and gold since playing two of the Tri Nations Tests under Bennett in 2005.
Rogers said he understood and appreciated selectors showing players loyalty from past experiences.
"I'd love to see Princey get the nod but Australia didn't lose last year and it's not like they were struggling either," he said.
"I remember playing on the wing for Australia coming up to an Anzac Test.
"I was the incumbent and (Newcastle's) Adam MacDougall was playing pretty well and I was the incumbent.
"Cronulla was playing Newcastle and I remember (Australian coach) Chris Anderson saying he'd have to score six tries on me.
"I scored three tries that night but I remember then thinking it was good they (selectors) showed players that kind of loyalty.
"I'd say they'll probably go that way again with Thurston at halfback."