The brilliance of the Queensland Maroons squad has again consigned the NSW Blues to a 5th consecutive series defeat.
So good are the current crop of Maroons players, they have virtually killed Origin.
That’s no disrespect, it’s just that Queensland are that good.
The big names, they’re everywhere – Lockyer, Thurston, Smith, Slater, Folau and Inglis.
Again last night, they showed they are so far ahead of the NSW’s best – it will be a long time before the Blues are competitive, let alone look like winning a series.
NSW resorted to heavy-handed tactics last night, they brought in the cavalry of Luke O’Donnell and Paul Gallen.
It was a tactic Queensland used years ago with Carl Webb and co. when they were behind the eight ball.
But it backfired badly for NSW last night.
The firey O’Donnell was a man possessed, a frightening sight as he went looking to destroy. Gallen as always was at his niggling, grubby best – but neither player could rattle or force retaliation from the Queenslanders.
Smartly, the Maroons stuck to the footy and it showed on the scoreboard.
They were racing the clock early, Inglis in first and visibly pumped after a controversial leadup week. Then Folau. It was panic stations for NSW they didn’t know what to do.
But before the public crucify the Blues players or coach – the spotlight should be shone on the Blues selectors.
As always, the Blues selectors reacted with a revolving door policy after Game 1.
Experienced halfback Brett Kimmorley booted out, new boy Idris shown the door – with poor excuses for change.
Kimmorley’s experience in big games, solid kicking and cool head – were sorely missed.
The Blues selectors wanted younger legs, yet in the same breath they select Trent Barrett?
No disrespect to Barrett who played well in tough conditions – but the selectors can’t have it both ways.
Pick a mob and stick with them. Give them a chance to get to know each other and develop together.
Darren Lockyer was struggling to hold back the giggles when he was interviewed after last nights win – the champion half confirming what most NSW followers feared, he simply loved lining up against a new bunch of opponents in each Origin game.
According to Locky, his side are rock solid as a unit after years together – and didn’t it show!
It’s not only back to the drawing board for NSW, it’s back to the stone ages – the only way forward would be to get someone like Phil Gould involved in the side.
Gould may polarize opinions, but the veteran coach knows better than most how to win Origin games and more importantly he is the only one with the ability to deliver the mental edge needed to compete.
Players at Origin level are the best in the game, they don’t need skills coaching – they need to quickly form a bond with new teammates and have a strong mental approach to a tough task.
It will be a long time before NSW wins another game, they just need to try and be competitive and to achieve this, they desperately need a Phil Gould type mentor to help them erase mental scars and move forward.