Take what excels, is decent, respectable, and typical of the true essence of rugby league. Then double it. For 15 years we’ve been privileged to follow the parallel careers of Brett and Josh Morris.
The New South Wales Blues concluded an outstanding one-day cup with a dominant victory over the Southern Redbacks in the final on Sunday.
The Redbacks batted first and posted a small total of 221 at North Sydney Oval.
The Blues bowling line-up looked similar to that of the national team, with Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood and Nathan Lyon making light work of the South Australian batsmen.
After a poor start, which saw South Australia at 2 for 12, they steadied with a much-needed partnership between Tom Cooper and Callum Ferguson, who put on 154 for the third wicket.
When Cooper notched up his 100, it looked like the Redbacks were well on their way to a total of 280. However, the class of the experienced bowling attack shone through and NSW wrestled back the momentum.
Hazlewood was a star with the ball, claiming 3 for 28 in an eventual man of the match performance.
Callum Ferguson also made a solid 61 in a match that didn’t post too many highlights for South Australia.
The small total of 221 was really no competition for the talented NSW team, who had five current Australian players in their line-up.
Nic Maddinson started off the innings with a blast, hitting 6 fours and 3 sixes in his 44. Daniel Worrall seemed to be Maddinson’s main target, being belted out of the attack after an expensive four overs.
The eventual wicket of Maddinson saw Steve Smith come to the crease, and the Australian captain strutted his stuff and showed why he had earned that title.
After a slow but steady start, Smith found his feet and finished off a dominant series with a classy 84.
Ed Cowan batted the entire innings with ease, and stamped his case for a possible first Test selection, finishing with 88 not out.
The Blues proceeded to clinch a dominant nine-wicket victory, breaking a 10-year drought in the competition, as Maddinson, Cowan and Smith chased the runs with 20 overs to spare.
The national players showed their class all series, especially Starc, who took a record of 26 wickets in six matches. And, with no real surprise, Starc was named man of the series.
The Blues now fly to Adelaide to face the Redbacks again in the first Sheffield Shield match, starting on Wednesday.