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State of Origin 2

State of Origin 2 is still nearly a week away but a few things have come up that merit some attention.

  1. The NSW team.  I don’t know how they keep doing it, but with all the players they have to choose from they have once again picked a team ready for a big loss.  I mean picking your captain as an interchange player?  Admittedly he’s not good enough to start in any of his positions, but why not make someone who’s actually going to be playing a full game captain.  And Paul Gallen?  Thanks for the two penalties and numerous brain snaps he’s going to provide…much appreciated.  And then they wheel out the second part of last year’s “winning” team Trent Barrett.  Seriously?  Why not take a punt and put in a younger player and give him a couple of games to grow into the role…instead of the usual one strike and you’re out policy.  Admittedly they have generally picked players in their preferred position but I can’t see them getting up at all.  It seems like their selectors are focussed on winning the next game at any cost, rather than building a team that can win a series.  I’ve always thought they would rather pick a team of superstars than a superstar team.
  2. Jarryd Hayne.  Congratulations to the judiciary…you have now just legitimised the headbutt in rugby league.  His defence was “he was holding on to me  so I did it so he would let go”.  I’m guessing Hayne’s arms are just painted on then?  I mean really, that sort of pissweak excuse can get you off?  Of course only if you are a star for NSW…forget about it if you are from Melbourne or anywhere north fo the border.   And they agreed that because it was such a soft headbutt it shouldn’t matter…so degree of harm plays some role in it now?  So if you gently spear-tackle someone into the ground it’s much better than doing it faster?  The next step will be to grade headbutts in severity…then it’s on for young and old.
  3. Israel Folau and the ARL.  Do the ARL (Colin Love in particular) think they are kidding anyone when they say they want to change the rules to ban Folau for the 3rd game for the good of the game?  They just don’t want him to play against NSW full stop.  Quite frankly I don’t think they have a legal leg to stand on and it will only backfire on them publicity-wise if they try to go ahead with it.  The fact is that he is a contracted player for the 2010 season and as such is eligible for representative football.  He is not employed by the AFL at the moment.  The only publicity he has given the AFL was on the da y of his signing…in fact it is the ARL who are keeping the code switch fresh in everyone’s mind by keeping to bring it up.  If they just let it go it would be a non-event.

So with that out of the way…my early prediction is Queensland by 6.  Go Maroons!!!

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