BROWNIE: Leave Ricky alone, he’s the right man for the job
NSW Blues coach Ricky Stuart with Glenn Stewart and Paul Gallen. AAP Image/Tracey Nearmy
I’ve been bemused by some of the chatter this week suggesting that Ricky Stuart’s head should be on the line if the Blues don’t win this State of Origin series against Queensland.
Let’s look at some of the takeouts from Game One.
1. NSW were arguably the better team on the night. Even some of the Queenslanders have admitted that.
2. I’m pretty confident that everyone in rugby league understands that Inglis did not score that try. The decision to replace the officials for Game 2 only lends more weight to that theory.
Because the game had such a controversial ending I don’t think Ricky should be criticised for putting a short term media ban on his players. He wouldn’t want one of his players to have an emotional response and then become the subject of intense media scrutiny coming into Game 2.
Remember, Ricky took over from Craig Bellamy, who in my opinion is probably the best coach in the game.
Since then, he’s broached the gap between the two teams – on the scoreboard at least – considerably.
This is a great Queensland side. No one should forget that.
Last series, NSW lost the first match in a close one; won the second narrowly; and then got beaten in the third when Queensland played pretty much the perfect first half.
So the Blues went down 2-1 in a series that everyone predicted would be won easily by the Maroons.
Before this series kicked off, most punters were saying the same thing. And yet, Ricky got the boys fired up and they could have easily won that opening match, had a few calls gone their way.
If people say Stuart shouldn’t be coach, then I have a simple question for them: who’s a better option? Origin is about building people up for an occasion.
Gus was the best at it, but from what I’be heard, Ricky would give him a pretty good run for his money.
He does a great job at getting the players up for the battle, and tactically, he’s done a very good job too.
I think he’s the best man for the job, whether he wins this series or not.
Former Dragons coach and player Nathan Brown writes an exclusive weekly column for The Roar. Brown, who played 172 games for the Dragons and coached them for a further 142 games, is currently the head coach at the Huddersfield Giants in the UK Super League.