State of Origin is over for another year, and congratulations to Queensland for another series win. With seven consecutive victories under their belt, I think it’s safe to say that Queensland, New Zealand, Samoa, Papua New Guinea and most of New South Wales certainly do breed better rugby league players than the other part of New South Wales that the New South Wales players come from.
It was a fitting send-off for Petero “Spell check” Civenociva, whose sparkling Origin career has ended after 33 games. For someone whose job it is to smash himself into other large, like-minded individuals, Petero is a rare species of footballer – he is eloquent, softly spoken, media savvy and to my knowledge, has never been arrested for drug abuse, rape, physical abuse, drink-driving or match fixing. He is most likely a cyborg, or a player from the 1950s who was frozen and then thawed out to infiltrate the NRL to try and teach the tattooed masses how to do an interview without sniffing, using the phrase “yeah nah,” “and that,” and ending words like ‘something’ with a k. I’d like to say that Petero was successful in his mission, but the evil forces of the future sent Todd Carney back to the same time to combat him.
NSW played valiantly on Wednesday night, and used the emotion of a fairytale finish to inspire the team – it worked for QLD last year when they sent Darren “Gargling With Nails” Lockyer out as a winner. Unfortunately, Mitchell Pearce’s last Origin game wasn’t quite enough to get the Blues over the line. Maybe next year you can send Todd Carney out on a win, lads.
I think the main problem for the Blues throughout the whole series was their half-line. Carney and Pearce played like it was their first game of league ever, and they were just told to “pass it to the big guys and keep out of the way.” That might work at club level (especially for Pearce), but not in the most anticipated Origin game of recent time, and not when you’re supposed to be creating plays and opportunities. It’s not all about shagging Playboy models and tapping that chick from Celebrity Apprentice, guys.
The teams for Round 18 are another shemozzle – no one’s ever sure if teams are going to have their Origin players back up from Wednesday night, or take another day off to get a new tattoo. On paper, this week’s tips look fucking stupidly easy, and the odds are a good reflection of that – if you’re massively rich and blow your nose with $50 notes, then you might like to pop a hanky or two on the Raiders to upset a drunken-Smith-led, Slater-less, Cronk-believing-he’s-God-because-of-one-kick-on-Wednesday-night Storm team, and the Roosters to get over on the Sharkies, and Parra to beat Manly. I’ve got no idea how they’d do that with their only good player out with a broken ankle, but I think it would involve a shit tin of cheating. And the Titans could easily account for the Warriors, simply because the Warriors don't know what the fuck they're doing. Ever.
Wests Tigers vs Bulldogs
Melbourne Storm vs Canberra Raiders
Gold Coast Titans vs New Zealand Warriors
South Sydney Rabbitohs vs Newcastle Knights
Manly Sea Eagles vs Parramatta Eels
Sharks vs Sydney Roosters
Game of the Round
St Mary’s vs Wests Under 9’s D-grade
Greg Bird's eye following Origin on Wednesday night. Couldn't have happened to a nicer bloke. Cop that, Bird, you fucking fuck