First points of State of Origin 2013 go to the mighty New South Wales Blues. And holy shit, didn’t they make it look easy? Of course, it helps when Queensland don’t wake up until there’s ten minutes to go, but still – a victory is a victory, and for this NSW side, those don’t come too easily. I had predicted that this would be the last QLD series victory for about five or six years… I may have been a year off with that Nostradamus-inspired thought, if the first game was anything to go by.
My first impression at the kick-off was “well, New South Wales won’t be able to keep up this pace for too long.” Then, “wow, Queensland are doing a good job at pretending to be playing their first game of football.” Then, “yes, I want more beer.” Then, “Are Queensland trying to do their ‘Rope a Dope’ routine by just absorbing 70 minutes of punishment before hitting them hard in the last ten?” Then, “No, apparently not.”
In the end, NSW were deserved winners. The highlight of the game was Paul Gallen punching on with Nate Myles' head, for which he received a whopping one game suspension, in a game he probably wasn’t going to play in anyway. Gallen claimed that he needed to “dominate” Myles, who had always ended up on top of his rival forwards. I would have thought that Gallen should have played better and tackled harder if he wanted to dominate him, rather than punch on with him when he wasn’t expecting it. But that’s just me; what would I know? I’m still waiting for my first-grade call-up. I haven’t even been cited 17 times like Gallen.
Johnathan Thurston had struggled all week with some kind of man-flu (herpes) as well as having his mind completely elsewhere as he awaited the birth of his wife’s (and Billy Slater’s) child. And it showed – if he puts in another shithouse performance like that in Game 2, he can probably kiss his Origin career goodbye. It’s not even as if he’s playing well for the Cowboys. Not that anyone actually watched Cowboys games anymore anyway. But seriously, Thurston’s uselessness was matched only by his opposite in Mitchell Pearce, who for all intents and purposes, played for about ten minutes before ducking off to the pub for a sneaky pint and watched the rest of the game from there. I thought that Fafita was well overrated, and proves that just because you’re a giant bloke, it doesn’t make you a good footy player. I think a lot of the game comes from having the right temperament, and that’s something that is lacking in a lot of the ‘new breed’ of footy player. They should have some kind of temperament test when you sign up to play. Or even if you can spell it, or know roundabouts what it means, that would be good too.
I expect Queensland to come out firing in Game 2, and they might even look to pass the ball to Greg Inglis occasionally. It was a strange game plan to completely ignore the best ball runner in the world and instead look to Cooper Cronk to guide the way.
Greg Bird is still a grub though. Can we all just appreciate that?
Highlights from the regular week included:
A Kiwi bloke pissing on the field prior to kick-off, being fined $15,000 and telling people to “get over it LOL.” Having not rolled around in other people’s piss for a while (reason #4589 why I don’t play professional football), I can’t help but disagree with his eloquent statement.
Jamie Soward has been dropped from the Saints line-up. No one cares, including Jamie Soward, and the Saints. And the Saints supporters. They’re a bit shit this year.
Raiders winger Sexy Sandor Earl has linked with a French rugby union team. Not too many people care about that either.
Seems like there’s a whole lot of indifference this week.
The Eels are shit, the Roosters are good. That one was easy.
Same for the Knights and the Dragons. But less good and probably less shit.
The Cowbs are rubbish, but will probably win simply because “they’re due”. I’m not tipping them though.
Despite the looming reappearance of T “Tony Williams” Rex for Manly, I think they’ll still be too strong for the Warriors.
The Panfers should piss it in over the Tigers, who will be confused by still being the televised game of the round, but during the day. And they’ll still suck.
Storm should beat the Sharks. Just because everyone should beat the Sharks.
Eels vs Roosters
Knights vs Dragons
Cowboys vs Bulldogs
Warriors vs Sea Eagles
Panthers vs Tigers
Storm vs Sharks
Game of the Round
Raiders vs Broncos
The Broncs were horribly thrashed by the Warriors last weekend, so they’ll be hoping to bounce back… but they won’t. Because they’re rubbish. They can’t even really complain that they are “Originned out” anymore, because they only have a few cheerleaders who get picked to play in the annual stoush these days. Fuck it, if they want to keep playing Peter Wallace, that’s their prerogative.
The Raiders just keep going from strength to strength, coming off a massive win against the Bye, and shedding Sandor Earl from their playing roster, making way for someone with a few less tats and shit hair to come in.
The Raiders unveil their new logo to entice Asian hipster Vikings to join the club