Cooper Cronk has been marched for ten minutes by referee Gerard Sutton for holding back a NSW Blues attacked in Wade Graham off an attacking kick.
Immediately, NSW Blues great called it a “ridiculous decision”, saying you “can’t make a call like that in Origin”.
No NSW, or even Queensland, fans can accuse the best player ever to don the blue jersey of bias.
Joey’s point is that traditionally Origin has been left to the players to sort out, with minimal penalties, with the whistle-blowers generally putting the pea away. And who would question
The question is, after six penalties, a couple on the Queensland line, how far can a team take it in Origin before they face the prospect of a man being sent to the bin.
Interestingly, it was Cronk’s second time being sent to the sin bin in Origin, having also been sent in 2012. He became the eighth player to be binned in multiple Origins.
In this case NSW players were crying ‘professional foul’ with the man held back, Wade Graham, particularly adamant about the call.
There was no reverting to the video ref to check the decision – Gerard Sutton at least got on with it out on the field.
It followes a series of misdemeanours by Queensland, and was probably more a product of continual penalties at the wrong end than being a professional foul.
In the first half of Origin 3 the penalty count was 9-1, and yet NSW only took a 6-4 lead into the half time break. It was testament to some poor attack from NSW, but also the signal of desperate defence by the Queenslanders.
As the teams walked off the field, it was clear the Queenslanders had spent a lot of energy just trying to keep the Blues out.
Losing a man in rugby league is tough. Losing a player in Origin is one of the toughest things a team can face.
What do you think Roarers? Should Cronk have been sent to the bin?