With the series over for 2018, what will the Queenslander selectors come up with to get a result in Game 3?
The obvious thing to get right is appointing a new captain who is going to inspire his teammates. Greg Inglis is coming to the end of his career. He’s been a fine player, a damaging hard running centre with a big fend that he liked to put on his opponents. He is a credit to the town he was born in, which is Kempsey on the NSW mid-north coast as we all know. (But we won’t go there).
The problem with GI playing out in the centres, and being a captain, is that he can often go missing. Sure, he bobs up for a big run every once in awhile, or he might put a cheap shot on a player by standing way offside, but generally speaking he’s not in the action as often as you’d like.
His verbal skills aren’t terrific either. They’re fine if you’re ordering a pizza over the phone, but he’s not articulate enough to get across the right messages to inspire his teammates when they’re under pressure.
When a try has been scored by the opposing team, and you’re down by more than a converted try, and you’re huddled on the goal-line absolutely exhausted, and you know you just have to find something somehow, and there’s five minutes to go, does anyone seriously think Greg Inglis is the bloke to rally the troops, and inspire his teammates for another big effort. (of course not).
The bloke I think they should consider is Cameron Munster. He might not be the sharpest tool in the shed, but he’s very much a playmaker who is involved in the action all the time.
He can make a bust, he’s got a great step, a terrific kicking game, and he reads the play extremely well. The other thing with Munster is that he’s only 23 years old, whereas poor old Greg is 31. His best days are well and truly over.
I’ve suggested that Greg Inglis may well make the third game his last game in State of Origin. (I reckon he seriously must be thinking about it). Look how NSW invigorated their squad by selecting 11 new debutants in the opening Game. It’s paid dividends. NSW has wrapped up the series with one game to go. But it takes a brave selection committee to make so many changes.
For Queensland, they don’t need to have such a massive cleanout, although it’s time to take a good hard look at certain players. Maybe, just maybe, they need to tap a few on the shoulder. (I’m suggesting one of those taps on the shoulder could be Greg Inglis).
Think about it. Imagine the crowd who would turn out for Game 3 at Suncorp, if they knew it was the last game Greg Inglis would play for Queensland, and the last game for Billy Slater….I think it would be a terrific way for two legends of the game, two legends of Queensland, to finish their representative career in front of a home crowd.
At some point, every footballer must hang up the boots, even if it’s just rep footy to ensure they can play another couple of years of club footy. If it’s good enough for Cameron Smith and Billy Slater, it’s probably good enough for GI.