The Blues’ real problem lies with the selectors
It is gearing up to that time of year again: State of Origin time. The three matches are always a highlight of the sporting year. Approaching the 2006 series, many claimed that the series was dead.
This announcement was made because New South Wales had just won its third straight series and were looking to win a fourth, which hadn’t been achieved since Queensland won the first five.
No such proclamation now with Queensland looking for its fourth straight series.
But that’s the way it is, New South Wales always seem to get the rough end of the pineapple when it comes to State of Origin.
They had to put up with Barry Gomersall, and they also have to put up with the petulant attitude of Queenslanders, who only seem to sing when they’re winning.
When New South Wales are on top, suddenly Chris Close isn’t as fired up. Greg Dowling and Gene Miles are nowhere to be heard from.
The frustrating thing for NSW, though, is that many times they are their worst enemy, especially at the selection table.
Queensland have that knack of picking players who perform. Guys might be tragically out of form for their club side, but put a Maroon jersey on them and suddenly they are world-beaters.
Carl Webb is one of these guys.
He must remember the stories of Olsen Filipaina being plucked out of reserve grade by New Zealand and repeatedly putting Australia to the sword. I’m still scratching my head as to how they won the 1995 series.
And 3-0 at that.
Not only that, but they somehow managed to extract some quality football out of Wayne Bartrim – who would have thought?
When it comes to selection, the NSW team has a strong resemblance to the English cricket team.
They both have have a large pool of players to choose from and have made their way through most of the pool. Players such as Steve Hanson, David Trewhella and Aaron Raper.
47 players have played one game for NSW, compared to the 21 for Queensland. That’s a shocking statistic.
Then you have guys like Cliff Lyons, Terry Matterson and Brad Izzard who just couldn’t reproduce their club form for NSW.
Matterson was the worst of both worlds – he was a worldbeater for the Broncos, and then when he played against them in State of Origin. he couldn’t produce.
And what about the greatest injustice of all? That Ricky Walford only got one game!