Writing her first article for NRL News is passionate Kiwi and Blues fan, Dee. In what was a defensive slog right to the end, she guides us through her feelings and emotions before, during and after a tense game 2. With NSW getting the win, the feelings of euphoria were high. Here’s her Origin story.
So, this is my story of State of Origin. This is written from a fan perspective only and is my view of the game.
As a Kiwi, I am just as passionate about the State of Origin as any Aussie could be – my team of choice is NSW.
As per normal, during the week, the feeling of excitement and anticipation starts to build within me. I get butterflies and feel a wee bit anxious and nervous as game day draws closer. So when it comes to game time, so starts the niggling doubts in the back of my mind. Can we do it this year? Are the boys up to it? Have they picked the right team? Is the hype and build-up going to have a negative impact on the players? Game 1 was a hard fought defensive win and as a result, expectations are high on NSW especially Jarryd Hayne. Can we pull off the miracle and win game 2, thus ensuring the series win?
Before I go any further, letâ€™s take a moment to acknowledge the Juggernaut that is the Queensland Maroons. They have been the State of Origin champs for 8 years and they have done it with ease and had little resistance from NSW in previous years.
The start of game 2 has to be the most nerve racking, frustrating, highly volatile I have seen for a long time with all the in your face tactics. It was an arm wrestle to see who came out on top. I contribute the usual yelling and hand gestures at my tv and the perceived injustice of the refs calls, the dirty tactics of the Maroons, whether they are real or imagined. One moment of brilliance from Brisbane Bronco Justin Hodges (I will admit, I am slowing becoming a closet Broncos supporter) and Daly Cherry-Evans, this wee bit of play put to bed any doubts on the fitness of DCE but thanks to a brilliant try saver, I can breathe again. Other than that piece of play, the first half was significantly less than it should have been. Into half-time, thank goodness for that. NSW down 4 nil.
One of the best things I enjoy about watching any league game are the commentators. Some are brilliant and some are total rubbish and should never be in the business, as they can make or break a game for any spectator, so for a game as huge as State of Origin you obviously want the best in the business. In my opinion, the trio of Ray Warren Phil Gould and Peter Sterling are just that. The banter between these 3 acknowledges the experience and their love of the Greatest Game on Earth.
So the second half starts and continues as the first half did with more argy bargy, and you can feel the tension. Iâ€™m sure everyone just wanted that first punch to be thrown. I could hear in my head the chant of â€œBring back the Biffâ€ and my mind wanders to the hey day of the hard men where a punch up was the norm. Hayne and Cummins appear to be slowly losing control of the game and the players are looking like they forgot what their on the field for.
As we continue and time slowly ticks away there, are missed opportunities from both sides. NSW had good field position off Maroons errors but just didnâ€™t appear to want to score let alone win. I am starting to think we are going to have to go to a decider as we chase down the clock. Just as I resign myself to this fact, suddenly, thereâ€™s a shift and damn if we are not starting to play like we want to win. â€œScoreâ€… heart is racing like crazy and Iâ€™m on the edge of my seat, watching the clock thinking, can we really do this?
Before I know it, full time is up on the clock and the Hayne train is running into the crowd with the ball. Holy crap, not only have we won game 2, we have broken the strangle hold of Queensland and won the series. So, there is my story on Game 2 of State of Origin. Will I watch game 3? Oh, hell yeah I will.