There will certainly be some sore heads up here this morning as die-hard maroons supporters try to digest the terrible result of last night’s State of Origin defeat
Of course we should be philosophical about loosing this match and hope that it will serve to give Queensland that little bit more of an incentive to crush the cockroaches in the next match… 😡
I think there is a valid reason for this horrible state of affairs and it may have something to do with the fact that as creatures of the night the blues may have received some heavenly assistance in the form of the lunar eclipse last night…. 😉
MAL Meninga’s Maroons machine rolls on … just. Queensland’s State of Origin champions conjured another miracle win over NSW to be in touching distance of a sixth consecutive series win.
Retiring skipper Darren Lockyer conjured one of the most important plays of his glittering career to orchestrate the Maroons’ 16-12 defeat of a gutsy Blues side in a pulsating Origin opener.
With Ricky Stuart’s resurgent Blues leading 12-10 and on the brink of a huge boilover, Lockyer saved Queensland’s bacon to put Meninga’s Maroons juggernaut on course for a remarkable sixth consecutive series crown.
Equalling Allan Langer’s Origin record with his 34th appearance, Lockyer produced a sublime inside ball in the 71st minute for a flying Billy Slater, who crashed over to snatch victory and break NSW’s hearts.
“When they hit the lead there was still 10 minutes to go and no one was putting the white flag up,” Lockyer said. “There was still time to score points. We all believed.
My Brother is in transit from the UK and he will have missed the game. So when I spoke to him on the phone yesterday he naturally asked me who I was backing for the State of Origin match. “Queensland” was my reply (without hesitation) even though I had just about no inkling that the game was even on. Thankfully I discover, this morning that the Maroons have not let us down.
So to my fellow Queenslanders, that smile on your faces this morning is well deserved and to the cockroaches from New South Wales, well,Tough!
Personally I think that any activity that involves running and jumping in pursuit of a misshapen ball is rather pointless but if it entertains the people then isn’t that point enough? I know that those of my readers who are passionate about AFL footy are not going to like this piece but the article in today’s Oz suggesting that this countries sporting decline of late might just all be the fault of the AFL may be onto something.
Which brings me back to Australian rules. Our most dominant winter code boasts about 600,000 players and, at the elite level, 17 teams in a national competition. There are two key observations to make about AFL in the context of Australia’s declining sporting fortunes. First, it is a provincial sport without a global presence; a black hole. Second, it attracts many of Australia’s finest athletes; rare talents who would be well suited to sports in which Australia competes internationally. As things stand, perhaps our finest athletic talent is lost to the international stage.
To make this point in a more graphic way one need only take a low-ranking AFL side such as my own team, Richmond, and dismember it.
About five of Richmond’s tallest and most athletic players would, if appropriately re-skilled, dominate the Wallaby lineout or – to use a case more pertinent to current national anxieties – bolster Australia’s fast bowling stocks. They are all of Chris Tremlett-like proportions. There lies our next Glenn McGrath.
It has not always been so – remember Dermot Brereton? – but today’s AFL player is conditioned in the style of a middle-distance runner. He carries less bulk than earlier generations, but has more stamina. Re-condition him for strength and speed and he could walk into any NRL side. But a much broader perspective is needed, for these athletes are talent lost to the Socceroos, which failed to advance beyond the group stage in South Africa, to the Olympic team (track, field and swimming) and to tennis.
Luke Slattery seems to be suggesting that the solution to our sporting woes (don’t mention The Ashes if you are true blue Aussie 😦 ) is to ban “the footy ” so that our best and brightest at running jumping and chasing balls can be redirected into other more internationally popular sports and Australia can once again acquire greatness on the fields of foreign lands. Gee and here was me thinking that sport was supposed to be for fun and fitness rather than a proxy battle for international dominance…
Its still just different variations of the unspeakable in pursuit of the uneatable and does it really matter what sort of rituals any group of individuals perform as they chase it???….
Well I over came my prejudices and actually watched the Origin match and it was , dare I say it, quite a thrill!!!
Last night, before more than 60,000 fans at ANZ Stadium, Queensland capped its five-year dominance of Origin with a gripping victory and the first 3-0 win of the Mal Meninga era.
They did it the hard way too. After dominating the opening two games of the series, Queensland came from behind with six minutes remaining when Billy Slater, later named man of the series, found some tiring defence near the NSW line.
That handed the Maroons a one-point lead and centre Willie Tonga put the exclamation point on another memorable night for Queensland when he took a Johnathan Thurston pass and strolled over.
I suppose I can stand a little sport in my viewing diet a few times a year, especially when it is such an exciting game…
Queensland have beaten them four seasons in a row and the chances are that tonight will see that become five in a row.
For most of my fellow Queenslanders, and their counterparts in New South Wales the only thing that matters today is that the next “State of origin” Game is on tonight Heck the big news story yesterday was that “shock!! Horror!!!!” the NSW coach made some rather thuggish and hurtful racist remarks, to be entirely honest why should we expect meat headed sports people to be politically correct “nice” people? They are good at only one thing and that is chasing a bit of pig skin up and down a grassy field and trying to bring each other to the ground. It is surely too much to expect that they be paragons of political virtue as well. Now I know that My southern friends will get all high and mighty about the clear superiority of the four post game but spare a thought for the mountain that those bedraggled wearers of the blue jersey have to get over. Queensland have beaten them four seasons in a row and the chances are that tonight will see that become five in a row. Now that puts enormous pressure on a coach to get some face saving results and he may have tried to push some of the buttons that his players have been trying to hide just to get that little bit of effort out of them and he may have just forgotten that everything is public these days.
Personally I cringe when ever I hear someone make a racist remark but I am a realist who understands that people often speak before they think about what they are saying and that sometimes the reaction to those badly chosen words far exceeds the speakers actual feelings about race and the differences between people. To the politically correct it is a mortal sin to even think there are different “races” but then those same PC enthusiasts will laugh at “blond jokes” which as a fair haired person I find offensive. The point is human beings will always find some difference to deride in their competitive opponents and if such things are offensive to some people is that really such a big deal???
Anyway Go the Maroons Comrades