'We picked the right team': Blues selectors

NSW State of Origin selector Geoff Gerard has rejected claims that the Blues must make sweeping changes to avoid an embarrassing series whitewash this year, insisting the current group is the one to lead them to a bright new future.<br><br>Gerard and fellow selectors Laurie Daley, Bob Fulton and Bob McCarthy alongside coach Craig Bellamy have come under intense scrutiny in the past 24 hours after Queensland romped to a fourth straight series win following their 24-14 win at ANZ Stadium on Wednesday night.<br><br>But a defiant Gerard said today that mass changes would solve nothing and pleaded with frustrated fans to give the current group time.<br><br>“I still think this is the team for the future,” he told NRL.com. “Yes you can tinker with it and allow for the fact that some players might be injured or suspended but I think the nucleus of the side is what we should have moving forward.<br><br>“The character of a side is shown when the chips are down and to get within four points with 18 minutes to go – despite all of the silly blunders and errors we were still in the game.<br><br>“A couple of guys didn’t perform to the level we would have hoped but we had a disrupted preparation with injuries.<br><br>“If we can keep the nucleus of this side together over the next couple of years I do think that they will serve us very well.”<br><br>Gerard was quick to stave off calls for hooker Robbie Farah to be replaced by the Bulldogs’ Michael Ennis with selectors yet to discuss the reasons for his poor showing in Game Two.<br><br>Farah injured a rib against Parramatta two weeks ago and was under a cloud heading into Origin where he gifted Queensland two tries with a simple missed tackle and a shocking pass out of dummy-half.<br><br>“The question has to be asked – was Robbie hindered in his performance by his injury,” Gerard said. “If he was then why did we allow him to play?<br><br>“These are the questions that have to be asked.<br><br>“We’ll sit down and talk about it because he didn’t have a very good game at all.<br><br>“If he wasn’t injured then we can consider if he is up to the standard of playing Origin football for 80 minutes.”<br><br>However, Gerard refused to rule out a shock recall of veteran halfback Brett Kimmorley following another poor outing from Peter Wallace.<br><br>“Queensland targeted Peter and he had to do a lot of defence – he will only get better as time goes on – but do we go back to a Brett Kimmorley? He could probably come in,” he said.<br><br>“It’s hard to say – we don’t have a crystal ball.<br><br>“The one thing that Queensland do better than us at the moment is play Origin football, whereas we play NRL football.<br><br>“Whilst we have passion, it’s a different style of game.<br><br>“Queensland know that the referees are only going to blow justifiable penalties so they creep offside and lay all over the tackled player because they know they can get away with it.<br>“We play a bit too ‘fair’.<br><br>“But we still had plenty of chances to win that game – we just took some bad options.”<br><br>Although clearly in the firing line, NSW officials are still seething over the single most telling decision of the entire series when winger Jarryd Hayne was denied a try early in Game One that would have given the Blues at least a 6-0 lead.<br><br>Instead, Queensland scored three quick tries down the other end of the field to jump to an 18-2 lead and take control of the series.<br><br>“We dropped our heads after that,” Gerard said.<br><br>“It’s not to say that we would have won but we wouldn’t have dropped our heads and Queensland wouldn’t have led 18-2.<br><br>“But these things happen.<br><br>“It’s up to the players to go out and prove something to us over the next few weeks.”<br><br><b>Late News:</b><br><br>•&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;Bulldogs prop Ben Hannant and Cowboys back-rower Luke O’Donnell have been ruled out of tonight’s huge clash at ANZ Stadium after picking up injuries in Origin.<br>•&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;Origin has also claimed Titans lock Ashley Harrison, while Melbourne duo Greg Inglis and Dallas Johnson and Canberra’s Joel Monaghan are all in doubt.<br>•&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;South Sydney remain hopeful that Craig Wing – who was a late withdrawal from the NSW squad earlier in the week – will be fit to play against Newcastle on Monday.<br>