Growing Origin impact on top NRL clubs
Administrators must urgently re-think match scheduling during State of Origin to lessen the impact on NRL clubs providing elite players to the series, according to selector and former Queensland great Gene Miles.
However, the former Brisbane skipper remains opposed to extending the season to accommodate stand-alone Origins on weekends with club games suspended.
NRL heavyweights Melbourne and Brisbane continue to pay a steep price for handing over their stars to Origin duty while clubs with limited involvement, Canterbury and South Sydney, are flying towards the finals.
“I still think Origin should be played midweek,” Miles told AAP as its toll became even more evident after further weekend upsets.
“But there has to be a lot more thought given to clubs providing greater numbers to Origin playing the following weekend.”
“I love the tradition of midweek Origins and I don’t think we can afford to extend the season another three weeks.”
Brisbane and Melbourne have clashed for the past three years straight after brutal Origin games.
Clashes between both clubs and Manly have also lost some of their blockbuster attraction when Origin players have been rested.
“I know, emotionally and physically, it takes a lot out of you and probably a lot more these days,” said Miles who played 23 Origins for Queensland during the 1980s.
“They (administrators) have a rough idea of the core group of players Queensland have used over the last four or five years.
“They should take a good look at fixtures during that six to eight-week period around Origin when they do their season draw.
“Fans paying their hard earned through the gate want and should see the game’s superstars in action.”
The competition ladder has changed dramatically during rounds 11 to 21.
Melbourne, who provided big guns Billy Slater, Cameron Smith, Cooper Cronk and Dane Nielsen (for game three) have slumped from first to third with five successive losses.
The Broncos, who handed over six stars — five of them forwards — have slipped out of the top four, losing four of their past six games, including Monday night’s embarrassing 42-22 defeat to last-placed Parramatta.
However, Brisbane chief executive Paul White said the Broncos didn’t want to use their heavy involvement in the Origin series as an excuse.
“We handled it (Origin) well last year and we probably should be doing better,” he said.
“I know the league are constantly reviewing it.”
Cronulla are battling to recover from Paul Gallen and Todd Carney playing Origin.
Gallen pushed himself with a bad knee injury to play Origins II and III while Carney’s confidence wasn’t helped by a gut-wrenching 21-20 game-three series loss.
Results of teams during Origin highlight the toll the intense series takes on players.
In a 10-week period when 20 competition points were on offer, Melbourne picked up just eight and Brisbane 10.
By comparison, the Bulldogs, with only Josh Morris involved in the interstate series, scored a perfect 20 points with eight straight wins and two byes to charge from seventh to first five weeks out from the finals.
South Sydney, who had only Greg Inglis and Dave Taylor contest Origin, were the other big movers, climbing from sixth to second with 16 points in the same period.
© AAP 2013
Ladder (11 rounds) Ladder (21 rounds)
1 – Melbourne (20 pts) Canterbury (32 pts)
2 – Brisbane (16) South Sydney (30)
3 – North Queensland (14) Melbourne (28)
4 – Manly (14) North Queensland (26)
5 – Cronulla (14) Brisbane (26)
6 – South Sydney (14) Manly (26)
7 – Canterbury (12) Cronulla (25)
8 – Wests Tigers (12) Gold Coast (22)
9 – Warriors (10) Newcastle (22)
10 – Newcastle (10) Wests Tigers (22)
11 – St George Illawarra (10) St George Illawarra (22)
12 – Canberra (10) Warriors (20)
13 – Sydney Roosters (10) Canberra (20)
14 – Gold Coast (8) Sydney Roosters (17)
15 – Penrith (6) Penrith (16)
16 – Parramatta (4) Parramatta (14).
Canterbury 7th to 1st
South Sydney 6th to 2nd
Gold Coast 14th to 8th.
Melbourne 1st to 3rd
Brisbane 2nd to 5th
Cronulla 5th to 7th.
Number of Origin representatives during the 2012 series:
Brisbane – 6
Manly – 5
Melbourne – 4
North Queensland – 4
St George Illawarra – 4
Gold Coast – 3
Penrith – 3
Cronulla – 2
South Sydney – 2
Newcastle – 2
Canterbury – 1
Parramatta – 1
Sydney Roosters – 1
Wests Tigers – 1
Canberra – 1