John Chelsea

NSW State of Origin five eight Braith Anasta continues to feel the media pressure along with former super star Jamie Lyon as the fallout from State of Origin 2 continues.

Anasta has been trashed publically by former Origin hooker Ben Ellias. Ellias claims that Anasta did not ‘put in’ during his game time for the NSW Blues. The media in Sydney went into frenzy after Ellias made the statement ‘Anasta and Lyon should hand back their paycheques for Origin 2.’

I think in this instance Braith Anasta has been hard done by. Regardless of performance, the committment of Braith Anasta simply cannot be questioned. Love him or hate him, the guy played his guts out and soldiered on with a broken hand for a good part of the match.

After Origin, there is always plenty of emotion. The NSW representatives were beaten by smarter, more skilfull opposition. The 26 players on the field at all times gave every ounce of their ability – but frankly from some that skill level wasn’t good enough to dominate.

The Anasta complaints from Ellias are ill-directed, Benny should be questioning coach Graham Murray as to why Anasta wasn’t told to leave the field once the hand was broken. While valliant of Braith to soldier on, an injury such as this – is just enough to give the opposition a slight edge. With Greg Bird sitting idly on the sideline, he should have been injected immediately after half time to give thrust and mongrel to a tiring backdrop.

There were a lot of coaching substitutions that were questionable during NSW Origin campaign in game 1 and game 2. When looking to next year and a possible new coach, who is there on offer that really has the nous?

Tim Sheens? Exceptional player management and rotation, but probably not the personality for Origin passion.

Brian Smith? Tactical Expert. His school teacher style may put doubt into Origin players.

Ricky Stuart? Perfectionst. Players respect Ricky, but would they die for him?

The only real choice is Phil Gould.

Gould is the only one who can combine the skill of correct selection, rotation and injection of pride and passion that NSW so dearly crave. Gould and his war stories are well known. It is said Gould can spin a yarn before a game, or at half time and have players eating up his every word. Gould lives and breathes NSW and Origin – his passion cannot be questioned.

Phil, we need you baby. Sign up and lead us back to victory.

By ricky

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