Nigel Wall, NRL.com
Indigenous team colossus George Rose believes the exciting new ‘Power Play’ rule could make or break both teams’ chances in this year’s All Stars blockbuster.
The 115-kilogram Manly prop says how and when each side deploys the rule – where two players on the defending side are banished to the sidelines for a five-minute stretch – will likely determine the winner of the 2012 season-opener at Skilled Park on February 4.
But Rose told NRL.com it would also hinge on whether or not the attacking team could quickly create scoring opportunities with their two-man advantage, which each team will obtain once in each half.
“I think it’s going to be interesting; it’s always a big advantage if you can get the overlap on the other team,” Rose said.
“So 13 on 11 is going to be massive – especially for that period of time depending how each team uses it… I think I might slot into halfback if they take JT off, I’ll jump into halfback and see what I can do!”
The Power Play is one of two innovations for this year’s All Stars clash, along with an intriguing 20/40 kicking option.
Rose said he was relieved fans had once again rewarded him with selection in the Indigenous team after he was a part of their breakthrough 16-12 win in 2010 and again last year, when they fell 28-12 to the rampant NRL All Stars.
“[I’m] very happy – I was a bit nervous waiting for the votes to finish, it seemed to take forever, but I’m glad I got picked,” Rose said.
“It’s always a great way to start a season… seeing so many stars on show on the one weekend on the one game. It’s a perfect way to kick off the footy season.”
He revealed he has always maintained close ties with his Indigenous heritage.
“I’m originally from Walgett in far north-western New South Wales – I’m a Kamilaroi man and my family are the traditional owners of that land,” Rose said.
“That’s my ties. I’ve always grown up as an Aboriginal man, I’m very proud of my culture and proud of my family, so I love this game and I love representing my people.”
Like many of his fellow Indigenous team-mates Rose is looking forward to siding with Indigenous rookie Chris Sandow.
“Yeah, there’s a few new fellas in here… a couple of fellas I’ve really wanted to play with,” he said. “Young Chrissy Sandow – I’ve loved watching him play. Last year I thought he had a great season… to be on the same field as him is going to be great.
“I think I might try to steal the ball off him for a 40/20 or a 20/40 if I get the chance!” he joked. “But just watching him in action will be great. So I’m looking forward to this game and really looking forward to seeing what we can come up with.”
Also, Rose said he was impressed by artist and former NRL player Sid Domic’s new black Indigenous team jersey – but not necessarily due to the colour’s symbolism.
“I was speaking to Sid Domic the artist that designed them and they look outstanding – they’re all in black so it’s going make [the players] look nice and slim!” he said.
“I’m loving it – anything in black’s great!”