State of Origin – Part 1
Part 1 of our 3 part State of Origin series
I don’t see any way that NSW can win tonight. Queensland are stronger, faster and smarter than this squad that Ricky Stuart has put together. So as a New South Wales fan why would you subject yourself to watching the game tonight? Well besides the fact its Origin there are few little things I’ll be looking out for and maybe you should to. They include:
Being the Underdog
Ok, so which team is actually wearing the underdog tag in this game? Most people would assume NSW because they haven’t won a series since I was a teenager. Yet somehow QLD always come out saying that they are the underdog for some reason or another. Maybe that’s why this is such a solid game because both teams think they are flying under the radar a little bit.
(Riddle me this Try Liners, if a team is THAT underrated (like NSW) is it possible for them to transcend this rating to become overrated? Does that hurt your head?)
I think that both teams totally think they are the underdog. NSW because they have the added stimulus of stopping this incredible winning streak. QLD because they have to try and keep that streak alive. So really it all comes down to which team is hungry enough to win.
Pay Attention To: The first kick in play of the game will tell us how hungry these teams are. You watch how each players reacts after that first kick. Everything about it will tell a story – the kick chase, its result (be it 40/20 or good field position) and the set of six after it. All these factors will tell you which team truly believes itself to be the underdog and which one is going about its business as usual.
Matchup in the Centres
This one is a little less philosophical than the last one. I’m really looking forward to the matchups in the centres tonight. Jennings v Hodges and Morris v Inglis. I really think the game can be won and lost through these four players. Jennings – fantastic in attack but woeful in defense. Hodges – strong defensively but has used up his limit of dummy half runs two years ago. Inglis – who can create even the smallest amount of amazing with nothing at all. Morris – solid in attack but stronger in defense.
Pay Attention To: Any back line movements from scrum feeds. QLD will want to get the ball in GI hands as quickly as possible so he will either be running off the halfback or they’ll swing the ball out to him real early from the scrum. Same goes for Morris who is great off the scrum feed. The battle between Jennings and Hodgo will be a flat footed one so watch for blind side plays where they both trying to test each others defence.
Remember a few years ago when Ricky Stuart said he was going to be creating a blueprint for NSW for the next 3 years to stop the QLD reign of terror. Really that just translates into ”I’m going to pick the biggest thugs in our competition and put them into one team” because this years line-up reads like the casting from ‘The Longest Yard“.
This years NSW lineup includes Tony Williams, Glenn Stewart, Greg Bird, Trent Merrin and Paul Gallen. All of these players are no stranger to the judiciary process and most of them you would call ‘enforcers’. Personally I believe with these players you’ve actually created a first class ‘Thugby League’ team.
UNPOPULAR STATEMENT ALERT – I really don’t like the fact that Stuart is trying to bully his way to victory. I don’t want to win that way. To me it feels like I’m watching WWE and suddenly my favourite wrestler has turned heel in the blink of an eye and I’m left with no choice but to accept it.
Pay Attention To: How many penalties those I’ve named give away for silly high tackles (I’m looking at you Tony Williams and Greg Bird) or just general roughing in the ruck (*cough*Glenn Stewart). This is ‘Thugby League’ in its purest form.
Slater has a new nickname come Origin time – Dagger. As in the dagger in the hopes and dreams of any NSW fan just like in Game 1 last year. For those of you who don’t remember…it went something like this:
Super strong and abnormally fast he can find holes in the toughest of defences. Plus considering QLD’s Hooker and Halfback play with him every week you’d think that combo will be extra dangerous.
Pay Attention To: Slater playing sneaky up and around the ruck when the big forwards run. He will be looming and waiting to sniper out the chink the NSW’s armour. Also play close attention on the defence when he has the ball solo. Most teams are so worried about his freakish long ball (for a fullback anyway) that they tend to play it safe. Slater doesn’t shy away from a defender who looks timid (and why would he?)
See there is plenty of reason to watch the game tonight no matterwhat you think the outcome will be. Its always easy to watch Game 1 because there is never any finality in it. Win or Lose its really Game 2 that makes or breaks a series.
Heres a special tip to those people watching who aren’t super football minded..when somebody asks you about the game (before it starts of course) use one of my ‘Pay Attention To’ comments. Say something like “I’m really looking forward to see the matchup in the centres”. It will make it sound like your a football expert! Then after the game when what you said comes true -you tell em you got that info off the most INCREDIBLE (yet slightly quiet) RUGBY LEAGUE WEBSITE – On The Try Line With Charlton.
Posted on May 23, 2012, in State Of Origin and tagged Billy Slater, Glenn Stewart, Greg Bird, Greg Inglis, Josh Morris, Justin Hodges, Michael Jennings, NSW Blues, Paul Gallen, QLD Maroons, State Of Origin, Tony Williams, Trent Merrin. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a Comment.