We all know there is only one man who must lead the Blues

Mark O'Connor Roar Rookie

By Mark O'Connor, Mark O'Connor is a Roar Rookie

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25 Have your say

    The State of Origin decider confirmed our greatest fears as a state; that we are inadequate.

    The inadequacy does not come from our ability to compete or our ability to desire success, it comes from our inability to achieve victory.

    This victory is blatantly within our reach. I say this with the evidence of results. We have seen since 2006 a ruthless Queensland team that have continually prevented NSW from winning the shield we so covet.

    Apart from 2014 we as a state have been unable to shift the pendulum in our favour. The statistic that has tempted us so savagely is that in the twelve years of dominance we have only lost a solitary series 3-0.

    That clearly illustrates just how competitive NSW has been. Considering the side Queensland have been blessed with it is quite a remarkable statistic that proves my theory that we are agonisingly close. It is this intoxicating proximity that makes our losses even more painstaking.

    Every year as a state we rise together with a positive vibe that this year will be different. That this will be the start of a new era. In 2014 we held the shield aloft after being comprehensively defeated 32-8.

    We had won the series that had proved so elusive and then were swiftly reminded of our place against a Queensland team that were not used to losing. One year later with an opportunity in the decider to make it back to back series victories we were obliterated 52-6.

    This served as another reminder that when the stakes are high Queensland has another level that we can only be in awe of. Only last week we were served with this reminder yet again.

    Josh Dugan NSW Blues State of Origin 2017

    (AAP Image/Glenn Hunt)

    Conjecture has surfaced in the wake of our most recent disappointment that Laurie Daley may leave his position and offer the opportunity to coach NSW to someone else. The problem however is simple; if he abdicates to another side, how is NSW to know that this will enhance our chances?

    After just two series Daley found the ingredients required to salvage state pride and no one would have predicted that just three years later we would be discussing who should be in charge of our team.

    There is also conjecture as to the make up of the 2018 side, which is hard to discuss when we are more than ten months away from that point. The coach though needs to be appointed in a timely manner to ensure that they have the opportunity to build the structures they feel are required for our young team to go from potential to reality.

    When Queensland were placed in this position at the end of the 2015 series they needed to select a coach for a team that had players who had won multiple series, a training staff that had won multiple series and a management system that had won multiple series.

    Kevin Walters walked into his first appointment as the only person who had not experienced success in the position they held.

    When the players looked to the man in front of them they knew that he was surrounded by examples of people who knew what it took in the position they had to win. When the New South Wales coach is appointed for 2018, they will have no experience in their position.

    They will have players who have won no more than one series, a training staff that has won no more than one series and a management structure that have won no more than one series. The question is why would we do this if the main factor that is leading to our lack of series success is that we don’t know how to win?

    Laure Daley NSW Blues State of Origin NRL 2017

    (AAP Image/Dave Hunt)

    We can bring ex-players back into the team environment who have achieved series wins but they haven’t done that consistently as part of the support staff. When the Queensland players look at Allan Langer they see a man who has been their trainer in multiple series victories.

    When our players look at Matt King they see a trainer who has only done that as a player, not as a trainer. Now, when Queensland players look at Kevin Walters they see a coach who has won two series as a coach.

    If NSW appoint Andrew Johns or Brad Fittler they will see a man who has achieved unbelievable success as a State of Origin player but has never coached his state to victory. The problem being for NSW that they can’t look around the room and see anyone who in their current position has had success in multiple series victories.

    So what is the answer? There is only one man who can stand in the dressing room and instil a confidence in our team that is desperately needed.

    There is only one man who can take this side from potential to reality and there is only one man who will steel our great state with a confidence that will be more than words.

    That one man can do this because quite simply he has done it before and not just once but six times.

    Phil Gould is the only man with the presence, poise and precision to wipe the slate clean and start again. When he looks a young player in the eye and says, ‘trust me’ they will trust him and it is that trust that will change the fortunes of our state and have Queensland quaking in their boots.

    He will unsettle them more than any ex-player ever could. In the end if Queensland don’t want him to be our coach because he is the man they fear more than any then he is the only person we should be considering to lead us in to battle in 2018.

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    The Crowd Says (25)

    • July 16th 2017 @ 3:32am
      jeff dustby said | July 16th 2017 @ 3:32am | ! Report

      if you think the problem is that the support staff arent origin legends like Langer then you have zero idea

      • July 16th 2017 @ 10:16am
        Noidea of said | July 16th 2017 @ 10:16am | ! Report

        Feel free to share yours ….

      • July 16th 2017 @ 10:22pm
        Mark said | July 16th 2017 @ 10:22pm | ! Report

        What I’m suggesting is that Queensland have people in positions that have had success and we don’t. Gould is the only New South Welshman who has been there and done it in the position I think he should take. That would instil some confidence that we need. We aren’t that far away and I think Gould could be the difference we need.

        • July 17th 2017 @ 1:48pm
          Albo said | July 17th 2017 @ 1:48pm | ! Report

          Mark, NSW is about 4 x immortals away from being on a par with QLD !
          I can’t spot one NSW budding immortal as yet, and having 4 looks highly unlikely in the near future.
          Perhaps in two years time when all the QLD big 4 have hung up their boots, NSW will be seriously competitive irrespective of the Coach selected.

    • Roar Guru

      July 16th 2017 @ 9:31am
      The Barry said | July 16th 2017 @ 9:31am | ! Report

      Yeah…I think it’s tenuous to suggest the Blues players are looking at Matt King and thinking “we can’t win a series because our trainer has never won a series…as a trainer”

      The main difference over a long period has been the quality of players in the 1, 6, 7 and 9 jerseys. They have been the players who’ve been able to regularly win games and series for Queensland.

      Other players have contributed for sure. Theres been times when Queensland have been all over their opposition and the spine has just been the icing on the cake…but on the flip side there have been plenty of times when the Blues have been better over a course of a game but a piece of Slater, Smith, Thurston, Cronk, Lockyer brilliance has got the Maroons home.

      NSW spine players have gotten them home when they’ve been on top, but I can barely recall an occasion when a Blues spine player has stepped up to win a game for them when they’ve been under the pump. Hodkinson’s try in game two 2014 but when else? Maybe Hayne at some stage?

      I realise this is a broad generalisation and I’m sure everyone can pick out games where a Corey Parker or a Brent Tate was the best player on the park. But by and large I think the spine have been the difference.

      NSW has come close under Daley but there are several examples of him being categorically out coached. Five years is a long time as a rep coach, particularly with just one series win.

      As an aside I sort of feel for Thaiday and Myles. They’ve had outstanding Origin careers but while JT got his magical send-off they’ve been shuffled off in the background.

      • Roar Guru

        July 16th 2017 @ 11:35am
        Emcie said | July 16th 2017 @ 11:35am | ! Report

        Yeah, I feel for Thiaday and Myles if they never get another chance. But by the same token, if you look at guys like Johns, Lockyer, Petro, Hodges etc etc they all went out at the top of their game while Thiaday and Myles can’t really boast the same influence on the game, they both seem to be the kind of players that will just keep playing for as long as they can rather then hoping for a fairytail finish

        • Roar Guru

          July 16th 2017 @ 12:21pm
          The Barry said | July 16th 2017 @ 12:21pm | ! Report

          I get what you mean, not everyone gets the fairytale, but they’ve both played around 30 games and been meaningful contributors. It’s hard to see them getting another start – particularly Myles.

          While not everyone gets the fairytale they probably deserve better than being dropped as part of the old guard. It would be good if their contribution was recognised like JT’s was.

          • Roar Guru

            July 16th 2017 @ 12:35pm
            Emcie said | July 16th 2017 @ 12:35pm | ! Report

            might not be over yet though, I mean Myles is at the storm now, this time next year he could be the best prop in the comp

          • July 16th 2017 @ 6:21pm
            Gray-Hand said | July 16th 2017 @ 6:21pm | ! Report

            To be honest, I reckon Thaiday would have been a better selection than Papalli this series.

      • July 16th 2017 @ 3:03pm
        Big Willy TBU said | July 16th 2017 @ 3:03pm | ! Report

        Spot on mate – Lockyer Thurston slater and Smith are once in a generation freakish footballers. Once they’re all retired we’ll have an even contest. And Thaiday in particular has been dudded – a cult hero with a glittering record at all levels and not even acknowledged is shameful.

      • July 16th 2017 @ 10:25pm
        Mark said | July 16th 2017 @ 10:25pm | ! Report

        Barry, No doubt have Queensland had a more talented side during this era. Despite this though NSW has been quite competitive. I think we need to look at what might give us the edge and I think Gould is the edge we need. I also agree that Queensland have been more ruthless this series than in the past but even they realised that the gap is closing and they can’t be as loyal as they have been before. We are close to not only winning our next series but potentially dominating if we get decisions right in the next year.

    • July 16th 2017 @ 10:14am
      TruBlu said | July 16th 2017 @ 10:14am | ! Report

      I think you have a valid point re support staff. Imagine what’s it’s like having Langer barking orders on the field. It would be great to have Gus but was disappointed he didn’t take up the challenge when he was asked before. I don’t think a QLDer in Gus’ position would’ve turned them down in their hour of need.

      • July 16th 2017 @ 10:28pm
        Mark said | July 16th 2017 @ 10:28pm | ! Report

        You’re right mate. Gould is a tactician and he probably felt that Queensland were still better than us and that’s not a great attitude. I don’t think that Gould would consider Queensland to be as big a threat anymore. We are on the edge of an era where we can dominate but we need the right people in key positions for this to happen.

      • July 17th 2017 @ 11:25am
        Pomoz said | July 17th 2017 @ 11:25am | ! Report

        Gus has had serious health issues. Coaching NSW was not going to help him.

    • July 16th 2017 @ 12:50pm
      Olo said | July 16th 2017 @ 12:50pm | ! Report

      just get joey johns in if he wants it.
      apart from maybe lacking some 5th tackle set plays i thought laurie was alright.

      all the buzz about on field leadership seems to be the real deal.
      move maloney to 7, pick moylan at 6 and make him co-captain with cordner and nsw win.

      other smooth moves would include ryan james in for woods. trent merrin in for wade graham. get peats to develop a kicking game.
      and maybe send jarryd hayne back to sit at the right hand of god.

      • Roar Guru

        July 16th 2017 @ 1:22pm
        The Barry said | July 16th 2017 @ 1:22pm | ! Report

        It’s a valid question why they didn’t do that this year after Maloney and Moylan won game three last year and both played well. I was opposed to picking Moylan at 6 before he’d played there at club footy but they did and he went well. What’s the point of dropping him?

        Come game one this season and Moylan gets dropped for…Pearce.

        In 2013 Josh Reynolds played two games off the bench for a win and a loss. In 2014 he gets a starting role and gets partnered with his club team mate. NSW win the series, losing only the dead rubber game. Come 2015, Reynolds gets dropped for…Pearce.

        For a team that’s struggled to find a halves combination for the past 12 years, it seems daft that they’ve twice had a winning combination that they’ve changed for no reason at all.

        • July 16th 2017 @ 1:41pm
          Olo said | July 16th 2017 @ 1:41pm | ! Report

          maybe they should just make pearce the coach seeing as he apparently has to be in the team somewhere.

          or maybe just nsw’s alfy.

          • Roar Guru

            July 18th 2017 @ 11:52am
            jeznez said | July 18th 2017 @ 11:52am | ! Report

            Ha ha – make him the trainer. He can play the Langer role!

        • Roar Rookie

          July 16th 2017 @ 1:42pm
          Dogs Boddy said | July 16th 2017 @ 1:42pm | ! Report

          Yes this has baffled me as well.

          Winning combination, outstanding. Wrong last name though, so rather than expand and build on this combination, screw it lets bring Mitch back.

          Cause this year is the year he will stamp his authority on Origin and make the game, and the team his own. Remember that statement?? It comes out every year that Mitch Pearce does.

          • July 16th 2017 @ 1:47pm
            Olo said | July 16th 2017 @ 1:47pm | ! Report

            to be fair he has had some real blinders this year at the chickens.

      • July 16th 2017 @ 10:31pm
        Mark said | July 16th 2017 @ 10:31pm | ! Report

        I wouldn’t feel inspired by Joey Johns. He doesn’t have a great track record when working with teams in both Rugby League and Rugby Union. It may be a situation where he is a great player but not a great coach. In terms of your ideas around players it is hard to disagree with your thoughts. I do like Graham over Merrin though.

    • July 16th 2017 @ 3:15pm
      Qldfan said | July 16th 2017 @ 3:15pm | ! Report

      Gus could be protecting his great state of o record
      Why return when qld have players like cam smith and slater

      He might make a return when qld have all their greats retire (Inglis slater smith Boyd)

      • July 16th 2017 @ 10:29pm
        Mark said | July 16th 2017 @ 10:29pm | ! Report

        You might be right. If he was waiting for them to lose some of their greats then the time has come.

    • July 16th 2017 @ 3:19pm
      Qldfanallday said | July 16th 2017 @ 3:19pm | ! Report

      Gus could be protecting his great state of o record
      Why return when qld have players like cam smith and slater

      He might make a return when qld have all their greats retire (Inglis slater smith Boyd)

      What if Bennet wins World Cup with England then decides to take the nsw job? Is that possible?

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