State of Origin wrapped up for 2011 last night with a resounding win for Queensland, giving them six consecutive series wins and sending off Darren Lockyer in almost the perfect manner (perfect would have been 3-0).
A few thoughts on the games:
- Game 1 showed how Queensland’s attacking defence can stifle the NSW playmakers and snuff out their go forward. The fact that Matt Scott gained more ground alone than all of the NSW forward pack combined is a testament to both his skill as a prop and the team defence.
- If not for the Maroons poor execution in Game 1 the lead would have been 20 points. I can think of at least 3 occasions when a try went begging because of a simple mistake.
- NSW did play well in Game 2, however Queensland played incredibly poorly and not a patch on their usual ability. They were shell shocked early and by the time they got out of it, it was too late. Mind you they almost did it…if Inglis has held the intercept pass it would have been a 10 point turnaround.
- Game 3 was a sublime display of rugby league…the first 30 minutes at least. Queensland completely owned the Blues and spent 81% of the first 30 minutes in NSW territory. It was lucky they only put 24 points on them. As for the first NSW try…it was a totally arsey piece of play and didn’t warrant the exclamation of “the tide is turning”. The score greatly flattered NSW as they were not even in the competition.
NSWRLChannel 9 commentary team were simply appalling. A great bunch of biased blue-eyed toss bags I couldn’t dream of running across. Listening to them calling the second game was just torturous…I recall them verbally dry-humping every NSW player for a solid 20 minutes at one point. Then they had the temerity to point out that yes they were biased, but they had two callers biased towards Queensland as well…despite the fact that neither of them was actually calling the game.
- Once again the referees distinguished themselves with their mediocrity. Maybe they’ve been given instructions to let as much go through as possible, because there were some appalling high shots let through as par for the course. I swear that every tackle Glenn Stewart made in the first 10 minutes was around the jaw of the Queensland player. And yet they feel the overriding need to disallow a try because of “driving”…what the hell is that about? Don’t we see that every week in the NRL?
- Paul Gallen. Seriously is this guy a meat-axe or what? I know the NSW press is seriously in love with him, but since when does 1 excellent game and 2 average ones make you a superstar? And what was with the incessant whingeing to the referee? Every time NSW got called on a penalty he was up in the refs face pleading for a second chance…”come on Gov, I know his head has been knocked off but that doesn’t warrant a penalty…he viciously headbutted my forearm”. And then capping it off with his graceless speech at the end about refs calls just shows how classless he really is. I know they must set the bar pretty low down there but really? I suppose they did crown Mitchell Pearce the “best halfback in the world”…not sure in what sport but based on last night’s game it wasn’t rugby league.
I fully expect a bunch of “Origin is dead” stories to start floating around now…very much a case of taking your bat and ball and going home. Either that or “Ricky the genius” will be working on his master plan for next year…probably getting centres to play in the forward pack because they’ll be REALLY mobile, and it worked once didn’t it?
All in all, a great day to be a Queenslander. GO THE MAROONS!!