State of Origin Selection Talk

State of Origin 2009 Series Teams Squads Lineups PlayersIt seems everyone has an opinion on the State of Origin selections; interestingly both NSW and Queensland have made a few selections that do raise eyebrows. The biggest being;

NSW – No Ennis, No Cooper, No Laffranchi

Queensland – The Inclusion of Nate Myles, Ashley Harrison and No Carl Webb.

For so long now, State of Origin hasn’t been directly about skills. The game is played at a frenetic pace and involves very few penalties. Because the referees are reluctant to blow penalties, each side creeps up inside the 10m range and the game always becomes a slog fest.

For years and years, NSW would name a star-studded side and too many cooks would spoil the broth. On the other hand, Queensland knew that hard-workers, big physical players and overall loyalty would get them through. And it worked a treat.

Only once recently have NSW realised that having a team of ‘hard men’ will get them through. Their team for Game 1 in 2008 included the ‘bash brothers’ – Paul Gallen and Greg Bird. Now regardless of what you think of these players, their physical presence and build is custom made for Origin. They take no prisoners, they can take a beating and they can surely dish out a beating too.

You see thats the other factor in Origin, it’s rarely spoken about, but players are rarely ‘cited’ or get in trouble for things that usually cost them dearly in the NRL. A small flurry of punches (a la Carl Webb on Luke Bailey in recent years) or maybe a tackle that is a monster, might get let through the gates.

This is the reason why you need to pick a team that can handle the physical nature and do the simple things right.

Sure, we see flashes of brilliance in State of Origin. Billy Slaters try where he chipped over the top was amazing, as was Jarryd Haynes and who could forget the Mark Coyne try off the back of thousands of passes from Queensland in the final seconds. There will always be these moments.

BUT, the majority of Origin is doing the simple things right, so no mistakes and doing them at a hundred miles an hour while copping a beating. Then you’ll need to turn around and defend and start dishing out the beatings. It’s that simple.

So, what are we looking at player wise?

Fit, fast, simple-things right and prepared to dish out some tough stuff!

Queensland have known and used this so well, however their selection of Ashley Harrison who has defence problems and can be rattled is quite interesting. Don’t be surprised if the Maroons move Mick Crocker in to start the game and they use Harrison off the bench.

For NSW, they simply had to have Michael Ennis in this side, even if on the bench. His hard-head, annoying nature would have frustrated the life out of Cameron Smith and others – Ennis regardless of creativity is a guy made for Origin. Sure, Farah is technically gifted and very creative, but Origin doesn’t need an endless supply of creative players, there are always plenty of those in the teams.

What about Laffranchi? He is a good blend of all characteristics for Origin. Fit, Fast, Tough and has the ballplaying ability. He will be missed.

And Cooper? Matt Cooper has been a rock for NSW for many years. He never fails in defence and his step remains untouchable from inside 10m of the opposition try line.

Our sideline eye Ricky Ricardo has thrown up some names of his own; here’s how he believes the State of Origin sides should have lined up:

RickyRicardo: NSW Origin

1. Kurt Gidley
2. Jarryd Hayne
3. Jamie Lyon
4. Matt Cooper
5. Joel Monaghan
6. Jarrod Mullen
7. Brett Kimmorley
8. Luke Bailey
9. Michael Ennis
10. Brent Kite
11. Anthony Laffranchi
12. Nathan Hindmarsh
13. Paul Gallen

14. Ben Creagh
15. Luke Lewis
16. Preston Campbell
17. Michael Weyman

RickyRicardo: Queensland Origin

14. Karmichael Hunt
2. Darius Boyd
3. Greg Inglis
4. Justin Hodges
5. Israel Folau
6. Darren Lockyer
7. Scott Prince
8. Steve Price
9. Cameron Smith
10. Petero Civoniceva
11. David Stagg
12. Ashley Harrison
13. Dallas Johnson

1. Billy Slater
15. Nate Myles
16. Sam Thaiday
17. Michael Crocker

4 thoughts on “State of Origin Selection Talk”

  1. I agree with riccardo on the line-up, because when there’s a combination of Lockyer, Falau, Hodges and Hunt, it’s unstoppable. Anyway, let’s see what the game holds

  2. I totally agree with riccardo on the line-up, because hunt and locker combination always produce try when it comes to the try line…
    QLD supporter
    PNG

  3. Riccardo it doesn’matter who QLD has in the backline,they always produce the goods especially when Lockyer is giving the directions.

    Go Maroons,PNG Maroons supporters are behind you guys.

    QLD supporter.
    Rabaul,PNG.

  4. to put it simply the blues selectors got it wrong. peter wallace is not origin material. 3 zip it is.

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