Sad story, but all of it is completely true, except the part about the dinosaurs.
2011 offers NSW their best chance to exact revenge on their maroon-coloured counterparts as they’ve finally picked a five-eighth to play in the five-eighth position, a hooker to play in the hooker position (and a back-up hooker in case he’s shit, and knowing Michael Ennis, he will be) and some big blokes in the middle to bash it out with the other big blokes. It’s a decent team, despite the inclusion of Michael Jennings.
If NSW does has an obvious weak spot, it’s the defensive capabilities of the halves combination of Jamie “About Time You Fucking Picked Me” Soward and Mitchell “Mitchell Pearce” Pearce, who are both professional bullfighters in their spare time, and pride themselves on managing to dodge anything more aggressive than a startled grasshopper that happens to run in their general direction. However, Sowie has a great kicking game, is quick off the mark, looks a treat in headgear and is a decent goal kicker, so we can forgive him his shortcomings when it comes to tackling. Fucked if I’d want to do it either (which is probably why I’ve been left out of the team AGAIN).
QLD have their usual assortment of troops lining up to have their wives and girlfriends touched up by Jonathon Thurston, Lockyer is already gargling sulphuric acid, and Jharal Yow Yeh is wondering if that is seriously his real name, or if it’s a practical joke that no-one has ever had the heart to tell him “Dude, your name is really Frank Jones.” Decent player, yes, but if I had to choose between Jharal and my vacuum cleaner as a lifeline on Who Wants To Be A Millionaire, you know that busted ol’ Hoovex is getting the call.
This game will hopefully be a more closely-contested game than in previous years – it did become demoralizing watching the lead-up interviews with the Queensland players trying to keep a straight face when asked how they were going to ‘contain Kurt Gidley.’ Their response was straight from the book: “He’s a definite threat, for sure, but we have to ensure that we don’t just focus on him, as there are gamebreakers right across the park for New South Wales,” instead of the more honest and accurate: “Did they really pick him? Now I don’t feel bad at all for drinking that whole bottle of tequila on the way here.”
Head to head, I think as far as forwards go, NSW have better ball-players than their bogan cousins from up north, and as much as I hate to admit it, Paul “I’m not entirely sure I’m not from Queensland” Gallen is about as hard a bloke as you’re going to find this side of Brick Shithouse Island.
Queensland have the upper hand in the halves with seasoned performers Thurston and Lockyer directing the gorilla army around the field, and will be at their most dangerous if Thurston can continue his form from the regular season for this game. If he can be handled early in the game by the NSW boofheads, he’ll lose his temper and start looking for desperate passes, and will rely too much on Billy “the Rat” Slater with his inside balls (heheh). For NSW, Soward will be buoyed by the fact that he is surrounded by his St George team-mates, and should avoid passing to Mitchell Pearce at all costs.
The battle of the fullbacks should go to the abovementioned Rat, as Josh “At Least I’m Not Jarryd Hayne” Dugan battles niggling injuries and ordinary form coming into the game. However, with limited preparation time, Dugan will be expected only to perform adequately, so any fullback wizardry that he can pull out of his infected armpit will stand out like Akuila Uate in the NSW line-up. As long as he does enough to keep Hayne away for Game 2, I’ll be happy. He might want to try and actually tackle in this game though; something he hasn’t really attempted since 2009.
The match up between the wingers appears to be pretty even between the outside four. Let’s be honest though, if a game is won or lost due to these blokes, it probably means it has been a fairly average game to watch. I do like Morris though, he seems like a good kid. He can definitely buy me a beer one day.
Summing up (you thought I was going to do that in the previous bit, didn’t you?)
Ummmmm. QLD by a couple, but not as many as they probably reckon.
Squinting: Not as effective as ducking