Tag Archives: queensland origin

Queensland Origin Storm

With so many Melbourne Storm stars once again lining up for Queensland Origin, could the biggest League stage prove a place to vent their anger?

The Storm are playing for nothing in the regular season, but Origin could really see their stars go into overdrive – with NSW bearing the brunt of their venom.

We look at the Queensland Origin side and see how it fares for 2010 – with the Maroons chasing a historic 5th consecutive Origin Series win. A quick glance at whos missing from recent times is interesting: Ben Hannant, Karmichael Hunt, Scott Prince, Dallas Johnson, Mick Crocker and Brent Tate all playing their part in recent years.

1. Billy Slater – As mentioned above, a key Storm player – will be even more passionate about this game. Rarely fails in Origin outings.

2. Darius Boyd – A cool head and a player that will help keep Queensland on the straight and narrow when things get tough.

3. Greg Inglis – Worlds best League player. Big, fast and a fend from hell. His clash with the likes of Coops, Tahu and Idris will bring crowds to their feet.

4. Willie Tonga – Improved form recently, but could prove a target in a backline where everyone else is an out and out star.

5. Israel Folau – Controversial choice given his upcoming defection from League, but will be a handful in the air for NSW. A top class player.

6. Darren Lockyer – His assists in attack are still world class, but Locky is a yard shorter in terms of pace and will be targetted big time in defence.

7. Jonathan Thurston – Has been plauged by injury and hasn’t been in top form. Scott Prince may have been a better option here.

8. Matt Scott – Has been on the rise in recent times, has plenty of size. Fitness the only worry for him given the speed of the Origin game. Certainly a player of the Maroons future.

9. Cam Smith – Named despite elbow problems. Even 50 percent fit – a genuine match-winner. Won’t let anyone down.

10. Petero Civoniceva – The veteran knows all about Origin and will again be a frustration to NSW forwards. Tough and durable, had to be chosen despite age.

11. Nate Myles – Reborn under Brian Smith, at his peak fitness it seems. Another workhorse, designed for Origin. Good choice.

12. Sam Thaiday – Big, strong running backrower. Will terrorise NSW. Hands are sometimes a concern for big Sammy – but was always going to be in this side.

13. Ashley Harisson – The experienced forward was a surprise choice – he will be another target for NSW. Some perceive Harisson as a soft touch, will have his work cut out.

14. Cooper Cronk – A smart utility sub choice. Cronk will be ideal in this role.

15. David Shillington – Continues his meteroic rise in League stakes, needs to make a statement.

16. Neville Costigan – A potential enforcer, but was found out by Eric Grothe in recent times. Should be right on the night, will be called upon when things get ugly.

17. David Taylor – Ideal choice here, so much so – the injection of Taylor could swing the match the Maroons way.

Tonie Carroll to retire from NRL

Tonie Carroll to retire from Origin in 2008Has Tonie Carroll picked the right time? The Broncos and Queensland Origin hardman, has announced he will not play State of Origin in 2008 and will retire from NRL duties at the end of this year.

It’s been an interesting journey for Carroll. While always being close to Queenslanders hearts, the experienced Carroll has spent time in the UK Super League, played for Australia and even played at International level for the New Zealand Kiwi’s side. Very few can claim such a long list of achiements in Rugby League.

His physical presence alone dominated opposition players; with Carroll regularly driving attackers into the dirt and creating nightmares for his enemies when he had the ball in his hand. It’s easy to see why; the thought of the heavy but mobile Carroll running at you would give anyone night terrors.

While given the task of protecting Darren Lockyer more recently when Lockyer was moved to five eighth, Carroll has taken on a new role of the senior mentor within the Broncos side. His faultless defence and high workrate have regularly helped Brisbane win matches. His change in role has also helped prolong his career, as previously the amount of work in both attack in defence from Carroll would have easily nullified his impact and his longevity.

The problem for Tonie Carroll of late has been the injury factor. Like so many other experienced NRL players; Tonie Carroll just can’t seem to keep his aging body together for long periods. So often his dynamic and exciting work on the NRL field would be punctuated by an agonizing injury and long spell on the sideline. While Wayne Bennett would have not wanted to lose Carroll, surely everyone in the Broncos camp has agreed it’s time to freshen the crop for future years – with Carroll to mentor the juniors this year and put his bulky frame on ice and retire in 2009.

While achieving so much in the game; it would be fitting for the likeable Carroll to end the year on a high note. Certainly a tough ask with Brisbanes green crop of players – however some smart buys at the Broncos might just give Carroll and his team the boost it needs for NRL 2008.