I just watched the Brisbane Broncos getting a drumming at the hands of the New Zealand Warriors.
The Warriors took the field well rested and put up their best performance this season. The Broncos took the field, bruised battered and tired and put up a lacklustre performance. The result 36-18 Warriors.
State of Origin needs to be stand alone! The publicity around short turnarounds has littered headlines all season, yet somehow we still expect the game’s elite to back up several day after playing the pinnacle level of Rugby League.
For the game to grow, the NRL needs to deliver top level spectacles of Rugby League week in and week out. The Warriors performance proved how invaluable the bye is, having won their last 3 games after a bye. While Brisbane have yet to win a game since the Origin period began, losing 3 in a row.
I wrote earlier in the week about Origin being played successively back to back over 3 weeks, consequently pausing the NRL competition for one month. I am in favour of the mid-season regroup, that would see clubs giving an opportunity to build on their form and address player injuries.
Even if we do not go the way of Origin Month, State of Origin needs to be stand alone, preventing NRL clubs from being penalised for possessing the games most in form and elite players.