It was a real gutsy effort from both teams last night, with the wet weather hampering the attacking flair of both sides.
Unfortunately for fans it is hard to appreciate the defensive effort of the two sides in Origin One, as it does not make for the most entertaining football. Dryer weather in QLD sets up game 2 to be a blockbuster.
Soft Penalties and Stoppages
Blowing time off for injured players, this just does not happen in Origin. In fact the two periods that were stopped would rarely be pulled up in a regular season game. There were no infringements to review and referees should have played on leaving them to be attending in back play.
A soft penalty in the 13th minute by Paul Gallen for a high tackle on Matt Scott sent social media into overdrive with cries of ‘let the boys play’ the main message filtering through Twitter and Facebook. On the whole there were several soft penalties blown throughout the game, which is uncommon for Origin. I don’t believe in foul play at any level, but Origin should be a bit tougher.
However only eight penalties were blown compared to last year’s game average of 14.
The Halves pairing of Reynolds and Maloney proved a success. While Reynolds debut wasn’t outstanding, he looked comfortable in the Sky Blue and played as though he had a series or two under his belt. The Halves pairing deserves to get the full series together win, lose or draw.
The Back Three were a different story, in particular Moylan and Ferguson.
The pair never looked comfortable together letting the ball bounce on several occasions. If Cronk was not carrying an ankle injury I believe their night would have been even worse, with the No.7’s kicking game slightly off last night. Luckily for the duo it did not cost them points, but things need to change come game 2.
The majority of that side has been together for so long and it shows on the field. It is more than a selected line up, it is a TEAM. Their defense last night, though unappreciated by some, was nothing short of dedication to your teammates and to the Jersey. It shows more character than 50 points on the scoreboard.
They play on more than just QLD spirit, their long term partnership evokes real team emotion and has empowered them to achieve many unbelievable victories and series wins. It cannot be replicated without years of bonding and faith by selectors. It truly makes QLD the dominant force it is today, and they will be hard to beat from here…………