first state of origin for 2011 is approaching. this will be year 3 for this thread. i hope you will all be at your local walkabout sharing in the magic. im going to continue this thread until i convert at least one person to Origin even if it takes 100 years.
inglis is looking fat and embittered these days. idris has done him over on two occassions already this summer. reckon nsw could get a win against the odds. lockyers not the man he was 4 years ago, still got the kicking game but makes quite a few mistaks. thingy went afl. reckon theres some hubris in the queensland camp.... talking about 10 straigh victories and that...
the nsw team got announced half an hour ago. to my mind it is a disaster, a predictable disaster given the coach is ricky stuart but a disaster none the less. no hayne, no idris, that braindead thug gallen as captain....
my feeling as that the maroons will keep on winning for as long as they have a monopoly on intelligence. i also hate brett morris, i fucking loathe bird, gallen and ennis.
Fullback: Josh Dugan
Whilst the ascension of Dugan to NSW fullback has been mooted for some time, I was still a little surprised to hear confirmation he had replaced Jarryd Hayne. Dugan is a special talent, and the selectors and Ricky Stuart obviously believe that Dugan can replicate his club moments of magic, at Origin level. Considering NSW’s struggle to beat Queensland in recent times, I have to applaud the gamble, even if I was a tad shocked.
Left Winger: Brett Morris
Blistering pace, in-form, good size and a great finisher. What else do you want from your Origin winger?
Right Centre: Mark Gasnier
Now that he has his ‘rugby league body’ back, ‘Gaz’ has returned to his customary standing amongst the game’s elite centres. He adds an attacking weapon the Blues have sorely lacked. His footwork is outstanding, his defence brilliant, and everyone is looking forward to his battle with Greg Inglis.
Left Centre: Michael Jennings
I have to admit to being surprised that Jennings got the nod. His chief talent is scoring tries, but he hasn’t been doing a lot of that this season. Whilst Idris is a natural right centre, he played on the left for Australia, and it wouldn’t have been a shock to see him picked on the left hand side for NSW. But Jennings is a dangerous attacking player, and a specialist left centre, and Ricky made it clear he didn’t want to pick players out of position.
Right Winger: Akuila Uate
Booked his spot with a powerhouse display in City/Country. Big, fast and strong, he takes a lot of stopping with his damaging runs. Looks suited to Origin football, and the rookie will enjoy playing outside Gasnier.
Five Eighth: Jamie Soward
The most talked about position, and most contentious selection. But as I have said before, he has earned the right to personally answer the question of whether or not he is up to Origin level.
His defence and attacking skills have been called into question in the past, but both have been excellent of late, especially his new-found willingness to attack the defensive line. Hopefully, the negative field goal tactics from Friday night were just an aberration.
Halfback: Mitchell Pearce
Not in great form at club level, but was superb in City/Country. Perhaps he just needs to get away from the crazy house that The Chookpen has become. Along with Soward, needs a big game, because Jarrod Mullen is breathing down his neck.
Lock: Paul Gallen (c)
Almost the lone automatic selection in the team. Tough, uncompromising and often tip-toes the line between aggression and foul play. But Gallen is made for Origin football. Hopefully the responsibility of captain will help him control his emotions, because he’ll need to lead by example.
Second Row: Greg Bird
Like Gallen, Bird was born to play Origin football, and is one of Ricky Stuart’s favourite players. Hard, strong and always itching for a contest, Bird and Gallen will take it upon themselves to show Queensland that NSW has plenty of passion as well.
Second Row: Beau Scott
I think Scott was lucky to be picked. He lacks Origin-type impact in both attack and defence. A solid player, no question, but I believe he’s the product of playing in a good team, rather than being a great player himself. He looked out of his depth last year, but to be fair, that was in the centres, not the second row. Still, you can be sure Queensland would prefer to face Scott rather than, for example, Anthony Watmough.
Front Row: Kade Snowden
Will be asked to provide the NSW pack with plenty of go-forward. Don’t underestimate his importance for the Blues, because he can make everyone’s job easier by laying a foundation for the rest of the team and setting the tone for the forward battle.
Hooker: Michael Ennis
It was always going to be a tight choice between Farrah and Ennis, but ‘The Menace’ got the nod, and one can only assume that his niggle was as much of a defining selection factor as his dummy-half play. In any case, he’s supremely talented at both.
Front Row: Jason King
Bit of a surprise, considering he has some fitness questions marks, but does provide plenty of the grunt needed for a State of Origin encounter. NSW will be counting on him to take the ball up and absorb the expected early onslaught from a fired up Queensland.
Surprisingly named on the bench, rather than starting. Nonetheless, his damaging runs out wide, and ability to run off Soward, will be a cornerstone of the Blues attack. Has been in great form for the Dragons, but needs to carry that into Origin, where even his biggest fans would have to admit that he has yet to make a name for himself. Well, apart from infamously running away from a fight.
I actually thought he might be in the starting line-up, instead of King. But perhaps it’s wise to bring him in off the bench. The fire and brimstone early clashes of Origin are no place for a rookie, but when the game settles down, look for the Dragons prop to enter with immediate impact.
Mannah has been one of the few shining lights in the Parramatta pack, and therefore gets another chance at Origin level. Might see game time earlier than expected, considering Jason King can’t possibly be 100%.
A solid player in good form, who certainly has the toughness required for Origin football. Can play hooker or anywhere in the back row, but it’s debatable whether NSW had the luxury to pick Young on the bench, when a more skilful backline player may have been a better idea.
Those missing out:
Hayne has probably been the Blues best player over the last two or three series and his absence will raise a few eyebrows. Particularly north of the border, where he may not be liked, but is extremely well respected.
It’s hard to believe that a team that has lost five series in a row can afford not to pick a player of his talents, but Ricky Stuart hinted that he doesn’t view Hayne as a fullback, yet wouldn’t pick players out of their club position – thus dooming Hayne.
With Soward getting the nod at number 6, I thought NSW may need the extra creativity that Farrah provides with the ball in-hand. The selectors thought otherwise, but he must have been very close to getting picked.
Perhaps the thought of a less than 100% Gidley was too much of a gamble. Whatever the reason, his ability to run at tired Queensland legs, or interchange for any injury to the backline, would have been useful off the bench.
Despite his weaknesses, Queensland would have preferred not to have to deal with him. That alone suggests to me that he would have been a worthy selection gamble.
NSW’s best forward last year, and returned to form in the City/Country game. But a slow start to the season has cost him a spot.
game 2 in a few hours. lot of big talk from the nsw camp. been raining in biblical proportions in sydeny for weeks now which is pretty standard so it might not be a classic xactly but at the very least im hoping for a decent am wrestle and given whats at stake ( 6 series in a row for queensland) hopefully a few decnt bits of niggle and at least a few punchs thrown. time will tell. gte out of bed and find out whos streaming it for free. it may well change your life.i got discharged from hospital last night to make sure i could watch this.
that was really something special. when sport is good its really really good. that was so intense. finally some thinking from nsw. a game plan using no front rowers! using smaller fastere men to run the oldere bigger men off th park. first tim in watching origin ive seen queensland look ragged. astonishing and sets us up for an epic decider. i cant wait. state of origin is one of the elite sporting contest in the world. i cant stress this enough. these are some of the bst athletes in the world playing at top intensity. the bset thing about living in aus.
the decider is next week. it is the most important match in my time here in australia. there is a lot at stake. for the first time in years nsw look like contenders. ricky got them hyped up. they won the 2nd game but that was at home. the decider is a suncorp. marroons captain and all time greeat darren lockyere will be playing is last game of origin. queensland will be detrmined to send him out a winner. he is a genius with a receding hairline and a funny voice. inglis and hodges play together in the centres for th first time this year. they are enormously strong men that dont take any shit. they ar scary.
nsw captain gallen has been a revelation. he is still a cunt but he is a champion cunt. he doesent stop. he is a warhorse. can hee inspire his boys to th ultimate upset? if h cant it will be 6 origins in a row to the cane toads. 6 years of misery for the sorry cockroaches. its do or die. i will be in front of the tv with a 6 pack for what promises to be thee sporting occasion of th year (give or take a rugby world cup) and i hope you will be too.