I’m on a high at the moment; the Queensland Maroons just put on a rugby clinic in Game Two of the State of Origin series, defeating the NSW Blues 26 to 6. I guess the team took my “nefarious wrath” threat seriously and decided to play an urgent game like there was a fire lit under their arses.
In the first moments of the game, after seeing poor Matty Scott getting pantsed in the first minute, my fearless Broncos leader Sam Thaiday pulled off an excellent opening play scoring a try in the second minute to much cheers and celebration from my household which may or may not have scared my 2 year old nephew. The Laughing Kookaburra added to the excitement with a successful conversion.
After gaining a penalty, Thurston took a penalty kick at the 10 minute mark and gained us another 2 points as my dwindling faith in Thurston may just have been rekindled after his disappointing performance in Game One.
Throughout the game, the Maroons created great try opportunities for winger Darius Boyd in which he JUST missed out on, but nevertheless he scored some excellent tries, one at the 17th minute and the 48th minute, only one of which had a successful conversion from Thurston. In the midst of all this, the Maroons had some fan-bloody-tastic defense with some notable mentions going out to the benchies, first to happy, dough-eyed Manly player Daly Cherry Evans who was not scared to put on a hit to the oncoming traffic and Josh Papali’i, who I predicted would be a wildcard and I would be damn proud to say that he proved me right.
Greg Inglis had played terrific throughout the night and only cemented his status as Outstanding Origin player when he scored a beautiful try at the 55th minute, resurrecting my faith in GI as being a central player for the Maroons squad. Give me another Thurston conversion and another Thurston penalty goal and Bobsuruncle – the Maroons are victorious.
Even though I strongly dislike the Blues, I am mature enough to admit when they either played better than we did or they played good footy, but I must admit that I wasn’t impressed by their performance in the slightest. In saying that, it was clear that the Maroons were hungry for the win and they snatched it early on in the game.
The officiating was as terrible as aggressive footy fans make it out to be, making an absolutely stupid call sending Tate off for doing nothing but pushing Merrin off for staying on someone, the latter of which would make a few unnecessary punches and voila. In comes Hodges with a few sneaky shots of his own which were also unnecessary and frowned upon and we just had Game Two’s big biff. The way I see it, Merrin and Hodges should have been the only ones to be sent off but somehow Tate and Bird joined the fray. Needless to say, the officiating infuriated me. Another small tiff in the game came when Slater, from what I understand, accidentally elbowed someone in the face and is now on report. Whoops.
Now, here’s the:
It’s Solst-o-meter time! I rate the players on how well they played and whether they Satisfied or Did Not Satisfy… or somewhere in between.
1. Billy Slater: shows why he is the greatest fullback in the game. RATING: Satisfied.
2. Darius Boyd: aside from the missed try opportunities, Boyd continues to shine. RATING: Satisfied.
3. Greg Inglis: enough said. RATING: Very Satisfied
4. Justin Hodges: aside from the punching, my Bronco played excellently. RATING: Satisfied.
5. Brent Tate: abso-bloody-lutely great. RATING: Satisfied.
6. Johnathan Thurston: didn’t start off that great but soared as the minutes rolled by. RATING: Satisfied.
7. Cooper Cronk: Cronk’s offensive skills are, quite frankly, unmatched. RATING: Very Satisfied.
8. Matt Scott: this Cowboy is a human train, orchestrating some excellent runs and gaining great metres. Still, in my humble opinion, one of the most underrated players in the league. RATING: Very Satisfied.
9. Cameron Smith: Man of the Match. Done. RATING: Very Satisfied.
10. Nate Myles: I’m glad to see he didn’t get into a fight after playing some good footy. RATING: Satisfied.
11. Chris McQueen: some good plays there in his Origin starting debut. Nothing to nitpick from my side. RATING: Satisfied.
12. Sam Thaiday: scoring a try in the first 2 minutes? That’s my Broncos captain! RATING: Satisfied.
13. Corey Parker: Outstanding. Simply outstanding. RATING: Very Satisfied.
14. Daly Cherry-Evans: probably one of the greatest defenders in the game, and from such a small frame (compared to everyone else). RATING: Satisfied
15. Ben Te’o: great defense from Te’o, even though I haven’t forgiven him for leaving the Bronx. RATING: Satisfied.
16. Matt Gillett: played a decent game. RATING: Neither Satisfied nor Dissatisfied.
17. Josh Papali’i: excellent form from this soft-spoken Raider. Nearly as underrated as Matt Scott. RATING: Satisfied.
Here’s to an exciting and very much anticipated Game Three, the decider. I am desperately wanting a Queensland win but if I just get a bloody amazing game of footy, I’ll be fine. Noah out!
– by Noah La’ulu