NSW advisor Greg Alexander says Phil Gould was right to criticise Blues skipper Boyd Cordner ahead of the State of Origin series opener.
But Alexander believed the Blues back-rower still had plenty to offer in 2018.
Cordner came under fire before the Blues team is named next week for June 6’s Origin I in Melbourne, earning the ire of Phil Gould.
The former Blues coach claimed he wouldn’t select Cordner for the Origin opener because the Sydney Roosters star’s game had stagnated.
Cordner admitted this week he had been stunned by the comments from the Blues’ most successful coach but Alexander believed Gould’s call was warranted.
“I agree with some of them (comments) in part,” Alexander told Fox Sports’ NRL 360.
“I think Boyd was struggling for the opening month and a half, even two months of the premiership.
“His performances have improved over the last couple of weeks dramatically compared to what he was doing in the opening two months.”
Gould questioned the impact of Cordner – a veteran of nine Origins and 16 Tests – at representative level and said St George Illawarra second-rower Tariq Sims was in better form.
He also claimed he would choose James Maloney as Blues skipper.
While critical of Cordner, Alexander hinted that the Roosters star would still get a nod for Origin I.
“You don’t overlook Origin players if they are down in form a little bit,” he said.
“I think Gus (Gould) had every right to question Boyd’s form (but) I think Boyd has a lot more to offer than what he has been coached to offer at the Roosters.”
Queensland great Billy Moore surprisingly defended Cordner’s disappointing 2018 numbers after early season title favourites the Roosters limped to seventh place after 11 NRL rounds.
“It’s a bit of mind games,” Moore said of Gould’s crack at Cordner.
“If you look at his numbers you can slightly justify that his metres are down because he is playing in a side that is not going quite as well.
“But Boyd brings something extra than just those metres. He brings stability to a team that is going to have a lot of debutants.
“You need some concrete to a team, a leader and that is what he will bring to the team.
“He will always rise to the occasion in a big game.”