Considered an automatic for inclusion on the Australian side to face New Zealand on Friday's Rugby League Test Match, the weekend put an end to Ben Kennedy's default. The Newcastle player's recent outing against the Sydney Roosters put those hopes on a bender when Kennedy suffered a torn hamstring.
"I would like to have been given an opportunity," said Kennedy. An opportunity swiftly yanked from under his neckless feet as he had sought to find a day's rest would give him time to recuperate for the selectors' hoops. Initial head squeezing and unnamed voices from within the Newcastle camp pointed toward a conspiracy against Kennedy.
Later it would be discovered that the kibosh came directly from Dr Peter McGeogh—team doctor no less—as he presented Kennedy's "unfit" shorts for the ARL doctor and doomed his chances to join the Kangaroos against the Kiwis.
Given that he also missed out last year's side, Kennedy was into a terrible spin of mind games. With the added injury of a corked leg he believed himself into thinking that losing an entire limb would have helped in the selection process, "I would have given my left arm to play, especially at home in Newcastle."
Written on Monday, 19 April 2004