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Kimmorley backs Pearce after Roosters win

Former NSW halfback Brett Kimmorley believes the Sydney Roosters' NRL premiership success will be a massive boost for Mitchell Pearce and NSW next year.
Kimmorley backs Pearce after Roosters win
by AAP

By Ian McCullough

SYDNEY, Oct 8 AAP - Former NSW halfback Brett Kimmorley believes the Sydney Roosters' NRL premiership success will be a massive boost for Mitchell Pearce and NSW next year.

Pearce came under-fire earlier this year following his under-par performance against Queensland in the State of Origin decider as the Maroons sealed a 12-10 win to claim an eighth successive series success.

The 24-year-old has only tasted victory three times in 12 appearances for the Blues and is facing opposition from South Sydney's Adam Reynolds for the No.7 jersey in next year's series opener in Brisbane.

But Kimmorley, who made his Origin debut in 2000, a year after helping Melbourne to grand final success over St George Illawarra, said Pearce has now shown he's capable of performing in big games.

"It will give him an enormous sense of belief," Kimmorley told AAP.

"I went into the 2000 series feeling very confident because I'd had that experience of winning a grand final and I am sure Mitchell will get that as well and that can only be a good thing for NSW."

Like Pearce, Kimmorley endured some tough experience in the Origin arena.

In the opening game of the 2005 series his wild pass allowed Matt Bowen to intercept and score the winning try in golden-point extra time.

This led to his axing for the remainder of the series by coach Ricky Stuart and although he was recalled twice in 2007 he admits his confidence wasn't fully restored until he played in 2009.

"I don't think you ever feel like you are an Origin player," he said.

"It is the most ferocious environment and there's no hiding place.

"When I was playing for Canterbury I felt really comfortable with my game and my role within a team.

"Mitch has said that he's tired of talking about that Origin game and I know where he's coming from because I had that.

"He has to be given credit for the way he responded from that Origin disappointed. He was great in back end of the season.

"He'll definitely take a lot from that going forward."

Kimmorley is currently working as a halves coach for Canberra and is confident he will remain with the Raiders despite the arrival of Stuart as coach.

The pair had had something of a turbulent relationship ever since Stuart allowed him to leave Cronulla to join the Bulldogs in 2008.

Kimmorley was also critical of Stuart's coaching during his ill-fated stint with Parramatta last year where he led to club to a second successive wooden spoon.

"I still have a year left on my contract and I want to stay," he said.

"I spoke with Ricky last week about a slight change in my role and that is something we are still talking about."


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