Origin is a special competition, from its unique nature fostered by a state duopoly on the NRL to the passion it ignites that is generally reserved for only the fiercest international sporting rivalries.
I’ll be upfront with you. I’m a mad NSW supporter, even though I live in Tassie. This morning I feel like Laurie Daley, who said about 100 times in his post-match interview that ‘I didn’t see that one coming’.
Let’s be brutally honest, Queensland absolutely smashed NSW. The thought of having to put up with another 12 months of cocky Queenslander jibes before the next State of Origin series is hard to take.
In the cold, hard light of day, I’ve put my finger on three compelling reasons why NSW lost, and not one of them has to do with how great Cooper Cronk is.
The only time I’ve seen NSW win a series in the last 10 years, I happened to be watching the decider (Game Two) last year in Dave’s converted barn in Cygnet. Dave’s a NSW supporter, top fella, likes a beer (in fact anything that’s alcoholic) and he detests Queenslanders, so we get on real well.
Dave made a great decision last year not to allow any Queensland supporters into his joint because if they were Queensland supporters, then we hated them.
“What do you mean I can’t come Dave?” said one of neighbours.
“Do you go for Queensland?” Dave asked matter-of-factly.
His neighbour replied, “Yeah, you know I do!”
“Then **** off, you’re not welcome,” was Dave’s response.
Of course, NSW won that night even though Jarryd Hayne was disoriented and ran backwards on the last play of the game. It meant NSW won the series. It felt ‘surreal’, and we (as in all NSW supporters) lived off that night for 12 months.
This year, I was planning on watching the decider at Dave’s joint again, and felt really confident this week that NSW were going to win the series and go back to back.
But then last Sunday night, I suddenly had a bad feeling as Dave said he was going to listen to the start of the first Test between Australia and England instead. What the? That’s the first compelling reason NSW lost, we deviated from what was successful.
Then to compound the error, and I take responsibility for this, instead of going down to the local pub and watching it on the screen, I decided to have a few glasses of red and listen to the game on the radio (TV reception is crap at my place, I need a satellite dish).
Had I made the trip and been there to see exactly what was going on, I think I could have made a difference. Instead, I was isolated, and my positive NSW energy would have been more effectively channelled if it was a ‘collective force’ down at the pub (so that’s the second compelling reason).
To make matters worse, instead of eating fatty sausage rolls and party pies like we did at Dave’s joint last year, I went with a couple of beef and salad wraps, and it just wasn’t the same. I should have bought some bloody sausage rolls and party pies down at the local IGA (that’s the third compelling reason NSW lost, and I take responsibility for that as well).
Of course, you won’t see those reasons for NSW losing anywhere, but I’m convinced that NSW supporters need to go back to whatever they were doing in Game 2 last year, wherever they were, and whatever they were eating and drinking.
That’s what got ’em over the line. And Queensland supporters, well, you can go to hell. (You’re sure as hell not going to Dave’s joint!)