I know what Pearce will bring: Keary

By , 25/04/2020 19:39

Newcastle’s Mitchell Pearce faces his old NRL club the Sydney Roosters for the first time next week.Sydney Roosters five-eighth Luke Keary knows exactly what Newcastle’s Mitchell Pearce will be like when his former halves partner makes an emotional return to Allianz Stadium next week.

Provided he comes through Sunday’s match against Canberra unscathed, Pearce will face the Roosters for the first time since he chose to leave following Cooper Cronk’s prize signing.

Pearce, who played 238 games in 11 years at Moore Park, has said the club lost its belief in him to deliver them another premiership as they chased Cronk to be their No.7.

Keary is unsure whether Pearce has a point to prove but expects a determined showing from a backline packing firepower in Kalyn Ponga and fellow ex-Rooster Connor Watson.

“I definitely know what he’ll come out here and do. I played with him for 26, 27 weeks last year and you know what you’re going to get with him,” Keary said.

“He’s going to compete for 80 minutes.

“He’s got some good weapons around him. They’ve got a powerful forward pack and they’ve obviously got Ponga, Connor and some good outside backs playing off Junior.”

Pearce will be among a host of former Roosters to face their old teammates, including 2013 premiership winners Aidan Guerra and Shaun Kenny-Dowall.

The Roosters were quick to promote Pearce’s return on the big screens immediately after Friday’s win over Canterbury, posting a photo of him against Cronk.

Coach Trent Robinson and captain Boyd Cordner weren’t keen on talking about the match, and Keary admits it will be an emotional affair.

“I know when I played Souths last year, it’s obviously a different feeling, a little bit more emotion and stuff like that,” Keary said.

“I don’t think there’d be any animosity or anything like that. It’ll just be that weird feeling.”

Keary came through unscathed in his first game for the year following a jaw injury and combined well with Cronk to set up two tries and score one himself.

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