He's the trump card that has New South Wales believing they can finally end Queensland's State of Origin dominance but the Blues (+8 Match Handicap)are adamant they won't expect debutant five-eighth Todd Carney of the Cronulla Sharks to carry them to glory tomorrow.
NSW fans will hitch a ride on the Carney roller-coaster at Melbourne's Etihad Stadium - a ride with as many spills as it has seen thrills but with the potential to stop the Maroons in their tracks. The 25 year old's (20/1 First Try-scorer) contribution in turning the Sharks into NRL Premiership contenders is proof of his ability, but bringing to a halt an all conquering Maroons steam-roller containing some of the finest talent to play the game is something else entirely.
Despite the fact that Carney is making his State of Origin debut his team-mates are confident he can make the transition on to the biggest stage iun Rugby League. Blues hooker Robbie Farah said "I think we've got a few potential match-winners, but definitely he is one of them and he's showed that this year. Todd's capable of winning footy games. It's his first game. He's going to be nervous. We're not going to expect him to go out there and win us the game.But we know if the game's on the line, Todd can produce something for us."
Farah’s thoughts were echoed by Blues coach Ricky Stuart who said "Toddy's a very talented player - we saw that two years ago. He's got enormous skill but I'm not expecting Toddy to come out and win the game for us. It's not about any individual. It's not about Paul Gallen. It's about the people around Paul Gallen. It's about the people around Todd Carney."
There is no doubting Carney’s talent and hopefully he can put in a performance that will help exorcise a few of his off-field demons as well as bring down a Maroon dynasty.