BROWNIE: How NSW can give the Maroons the Blues
NSW fans cheer for their team
I’ve been singing Ricky Stuart’s praises in my columns of late, and plenty of readers have given me stick about it. But after watching the Blues win State of Origin two, I have to say again, he is by far the best choice for NSW.
He just understands what Origin is all about. And he learned the secret from Gus Gould why certain players should be picked and other players shouldn’t.
It’s all about picking a team to beat Queensland, not necessarily selecting the 13 most talented players available.
Queensland are certainly in the box seat in terms of star player depth. They have superstars all over the field, which makes Ricky and his team’s efforts in Game 2 an even more outstanding result – both for NSW and the game of rugby league itself.
Origin lends itself to a particular type of player, especially on a mental level.
The fans out there might wonder why a certain player has missed selection, but the truth is that there are some guys who would play great for their country and their club, but might not be mentally strong enough for Origin or be able to sustain the intensity required.
There is very little room for error in Origin. And it took NSW a long time to work out how best to select a side to do the job.
Ricky’s advantage is that he played Origin himself at a time when NSW won a number of series’ against Queensland.
Gus coached Ricky, and now Ricky is marking his own mark on Blues State of Origin history.
The decider will no doubt be a brutal encounter.
The key for both sides will be to get themselves up to that same level intensity that they showed in the previous matches.
Glenn Stewart will be a big loss for the Blues, but Queensland may lose a coupe of players too.
It’ll be a tough ask for NSW.
But they’ve proven in last few games that if they can do the small things well, they can then use their smaller, quicker forwards to run Queensland around.
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.
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