New South Wales should have never picked a Ron Massey Cup prop and David Fifita in the front-row



The bleeding for New South Wales began long before Game III kicked off at Suncorp Stadium on Wednesday night.

Game I six weeks ago was meant to be the night NSW finally turned the tide and stopped one of rugby league’s greatest ever dynasties. The Blues came out all guns blazing, slayed the bad guys and rode off into the sunset. An entire state rejoiced. Most thought Queensland were on the decline.

Then reality returned and sunk its razor-sharp teeth into the Blues.

On home soil at the Olympic stadium, NSW spluttered their way through a horrific twenty-minute period that gifted QLD a lifeline.

Have you ever seen those old movies where you think the cowboy has won the battle but then reaches into his shirt and pulls out a handful of blood before sliding from his horse?

Despite the warning signs – everyone kept saying it was NSW’s time like it was the Blues’ God-given right to win back the title. Somehow, we all thought the Maroons were just going to turn over and the Blues would run rampant in the deciding game.

Forget the fact that QLD were sending off the injured Johnathan Thurston and still boasted Cameron Smith, Cooper Cronk, Billy Slater and other Australian representatives.

You can only tell a team so many times before they start believing their own hype. Phil Gould, Paul Gallen, Andrew Johns – they all pumped up the ego.

Did NSW really think they were going to win because it was “their time”?

Nothing is free in Origin.

You win a State of Origin match on commitment, guts and heart.

Talk about delusions of grandeur.

When Andrew Fifita ran onto Suncorp Stadium on Wednesday night grinning from ear-to-ear like a cocky punk – the trickle became a gaping wound.

The Blues were sitting ducks.

They came out in Game I with their Colt Revolvers and put on a show, blew the smoke from the barrels of their guns – looked down the camera lens and gave us a big cheesy wink, “Nothing to see here folks – time to go home. We’ve won.”

Problem was, there were two more gun fights and NSW used all their bullets by the 60th minute of Game II.

But to be fair to Fifita he wasn’t alone.

Try to forget for a moment that the big Cronulla prop only ran for 63 metres. The telling factor was the difference in his on-field presence from Game I to Game III. Are we sure Andrew didn’t have the night off and they dragged brother David back from England?

Wests Tigers fans are also jumping for joy that Fifita’s front-row partner Aaron Woods is leaving for Canterbury-Bankstown in 2018.



Woods looked like a Ron Massey Cup prop dragged out of the pub and flung a sky blue jersey on Wednesday. For a player that has represented his country and state since 2013 – Woods looked out of his depth. He was two yards slower than any other player on the field with ball in-hand and was brushed off several times in defence.

Fifita and Woods made Napa and Wallace look like Shane Webcke and Petero Civoneciva.

But even still – NSW were a chance at 12-6 thanks to the hard slog of replacement props David Klemmer and Jake Trbojevic. The pair combined for a total of 303 metres and dragged the Blues back into the contest.

And here is where Mitchell Pearce and James Maloney come into it.

Consider the magnitude of Klemmer and Trbojevic’s work and what they did just to get NSW back to 12-6 when QLD could have led by 30 or 36 such was the avalanche.

Instead of levelling it up or even taking an unlikely lead – the Blues lost their way. It wasn’t Fifita and Woods this time, it was Pearce and Maloney.

On one side of the field, Cronk and Munster were playing direct, fast and digging into the defensive line asking questions of the Blues time and time again. On the other, Pearce and Maloney continuously shovelled the ball onto someone else.

While Cronk and Munster were taking the ball on the last and engaging the Blues before kicking, Pearce and Maloney were kicking immediately – sometimes ten metres away from the Maroons.

Remember that Klemmer and Trbojevic were winning the middle.

The difference was only one set of halves was playing footy.

In the 60th minute, a Maroons player took the ball forward and lost his boot. Instead of retreating into the line and getting there for his mates, Maloney preferred to pick up the boot and toss it over the sideline. He would have still been chuckling to himself as he turned around to see his opposite, debutant Munster, cut the Blues to pieces on a forty-metre run before linking with Valentine Holmes to extend QLD’s lead.



A few minutes later a desperate QLD kept the footy alive before Wallace (or was it Webcke) picked up a loose pass and dived over as Woods and Fifita stood there with their hands on their hips.

The Maroons are a great rugby league team.

Our only expectation as NSW fans is that we expect our players to have a go.

Sadly, that’s still not the case.



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3 Replies to “New South Wales should have never picked a Ron Massey Cup prop and David Fifita in the front-row”

  1. Are you kidding?They were in it till the first penalty to QLD.Dubious first try call(and a missed forward pass in earlier set)I think QLD just ran dead in Game 1 to lull their opponent into believing something that was not quite true.Anyone who thought NSW was home and hosed b4 Game 1 would have to need a psychiatric report.Clearly nuts!
    Fact is QLD just have a team that is in ‘the zone’.How many wild passes ‘stuck’ for QLD whereas if it had been NSW it would probably have been spilled,thrown over the sideline possibly due to the ‘fairytale’ factor that always seemingly helps QLD over the line so many times but never happens for their opponents? (the footy gods def don’t do that as often for NSW teams) Cam Smith played 1 and a half games without playing the way we know he plays week in week out down at Storm.Looks like he was running dead to me.The fact is QLD have luxuries like picking an entire spine from one club.They replace Boyd with Slater who has played for Australia and is considered one of the best fullbacks of the past ten or so years.JT replaced by Ben Hunt in the biggest farce…even Allan Langer spent more time on the field than Ben did.The reason DCE missed out (we pick on form? yeah right!)…QLD could get the full Melbourne spine in somehow.I doubt there is any chance NSW could match that one.Besides,if QLD had failed this series then that would have been a bigger headline than NSW losing.A huge embarassment it would have been,to say ‘farewell’ those players who were part of the past few years after losing at ‘home’?THe media in QLD certainly let everyone know it was the game to send out a champion who in the end got injured before that game and QLD fans need to get out to Suncorp to say farewell.Would have been one huge party-crash if NSW won.Besides,NSW were never ‘favourites’ to win,after all QLD won the last two series.Should have been faves all the way thru even after losing game 1.The media did all the ‘pumping’…QLD too old,injuries etc …NSW,the tide is turning.Old legs don’t get picked for Origin.Any good judge knows Smith is a workhorse,and rarely puts in a poor game. He don’t have old legs or he’d retire from rep footy.All media hype!
    Slater helped Australia lose a World Cup a few years ago but is still playing good enough for Melb to be a selection in QLD team.Injury robbed QLD of him for a while but they had GI,Smith,Cronk still in the side.Munster is a rising star and already has runs on the board covering for Billy at Melb before Billy’s recent return.
    They are just ‘in the zone’ for now.
    That probably spells the end for DCE in Origin unless one of the multitude of halves QLD has gets injured….but he is now behind Cronk(who may or may not retire from reps),Milford,Hunt(picked only weeks after playing Q cup),Munster and even Michael Morgan.I don’t see him getting back in.

    Only 2 QLD clubs have won NRL Premierships since 2005.
    So is Origin really that good for QLD at club level?
    Luckily for many QLD’uh footy fans,they can wear a maroon jersey around to cover the one for the club they follow.Even the so-called great J.T only has won the one Prem at Cows during this period.The Cows might have won more but J.T goes to play Origin instead then complains too much footy.(few seasons back)
    I think he might have been right and has played one year too many,which would not have happened had he not played so much Origin.
    Origin is costing QLD NRL club fans chances of Premiership glory.
    Did Greg Inglis attend last night game?
    Chances are he could return for QLD and we have more of the same lineup of ‘star’ players that QLD is blessed with for the past decade.
    Like I said,QLD are just ‘in the zone’ for now and have had a fair bit of good fortune with the players they have at their disposal.

    NSW were in the game on Wed night till ‘luck’ and ‘good fortune’ played their part.
    I’ll do my best not to mention the ‘dubious’ try call or any other infactions.
    Otherwise,standard practice to say “QLD in a zone,it’s not NSW time for now”
    The media crapped on about ‘tides’.Just like they did back in 2005 when ex-QLD player and later coach,Mal Meninga stated “Origin is dead” after another series loss for QLD.
    The ‘rats and filth’ etc etc
    The Courier Mail dug into the players and coaching staff for QLD.Luckily for them all,the tide turned.
    So,as the sun sets on some of these QLD Origin players rep career,we will look ahead and keep an eye on the tide.
    Just waiting for a ‘flood’ coming from the south of the Tweed.
    In 2005 most QLD fans wanted the same.
    They got what they asked for and a bit.
    The tide will turn.
    NSW fans who know footy,know this is fact.

    P.S Prior to the game Smith was crapping on about player’s strike.Should have done it during Origin but $30k is a lot of cash,eh?What a joke!
    They don’t play for love of club,state,or country…’s just money.
    Cam Smith is featured on QLD billboards spruiking QLD number plates,he don’t live there and surely would not have a car registered in QLD.The plates displayed on sign are Q personalised plates.Cam 09 ?WTF? Rugby league is not just sport anymore……It’s all about money.

    Please,if you do strike Cam,please repay the members of Melbourne Storm their fees.Who have to see your club team struggle when you go off to play Origin with Cooper & Co.
    Now there is one reason not to name him amongst ‘Immortals’ if he does take strike action.
    Cam Smith has to be one of the best paid players running around.
    Fair dinkum..BULLSHIT!

    1. Honestly,it was only 12-6 at 59th min.Could have gone either way with luck.The next 20 mins QLD only scored 10 points however there was a short period where NSW looked like they might just even the score up at 12-12.Unfortunately it was ‘farewell JT’ night and the footy gods were much kinder to QLD than they were to NSW and they never got any further on scoreboard.QLD got all the luck and that lead them to victory.

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