Queensland Make It 8

I am on the highest of highs… of highs. QUEENSLAND TAKE OUT ORIGIN FOR THE 8TH TIME IN A ROW!!

This needs no caption.

This needs no caption. SOURCE: NRL Facebook page

Tension was running high as the players ran out onto the field for the ultimate decider of the Origin series 2013. This was it. This was the moment. This was the moment for the Blues to shut up their naysayers and stop Queensland’s dominating streak, and the moment for the Maroons to continue their momentum from game two.

Queensland made the first half count with some early points from Queensland playmaker Johnathan Thurston who racked up a converted try and a penalty conversion. The Blues mounted a comeback with a try from McManus and ended the half at 8 – 4.

I could not sit down during the second half because I can honestly say a game of footy has not kept me on my toes like this in a very long time. The gruelling second half was intense and was nearly too hard for me to watch until my Broncos boy Hodges scored a try at the 61st minute which wasn’t successfully converted. All was well in the Queensland department until SolSat’s Golden Boy Corey Parker let in a try from Merrin at the 71st minute. My poor Parker.

In the final minutes of the game, 10-12 to the Maroons, it was all coming down to whoever was in possession. Just as I thought one of my personal favourites, the underrated Matt Scott would score a try, a stupid, fat, ignorant streaker ran onto the field to disrupt not only the brilliant game that had been played but Scott’s try. An array of colourful language threatened to escape my mouth but I managed to stop it. Streakers – be ready to see an opinion piece on them.

Queensland managed to keep possession in the final seconds of play and seize the victory over the Blues for their 8th straight victory in what was an unforgettable defeat.

Now, it’s time for the SOLST-O-METER!

Even with what I perceived to be shotty officiating from one Shayne Hayne and an absolutely horrendous try-ruining streaker, my boys still managed to scrape up the victory and make it #8inarow.

1. Billy Slater – still exhibits his fine footy finesse and shows why he IS the greatest fullback in the game, despite your personal feelings for the man. RATING: Satisfied.
2. Darius Boyd – bleh first half, somewhat decent second half. If he didn’t ground that ball, I would’ve torn him a new one. RATING: Neither satisfied or dissatisfied.
3. Greg Inglis – I was still expecting a classic GI moment from him but didn’t get any of the sort. RATING: Neither satisfied or dissatisfied.
4. Justin Hodges – my bucking Bronco played excellent! Now if only he could bring that back to the Broncos, that’d be great. RATING: Satisfied.
5. Brent Tate – excellent form here by the Cowboy Tate. RATING: Satisfied.
6. Johnathan Thurston – hands down Man of the Match. RATING: Very Satisfied.
7. Cooper Cronk – some great play from Cronk, nothing earth shattering like I’m used to from him but still good. RATING: Satisfied.
8. Matt Scott – my poor Scotty, his Origin moment was taken from him. Either way, he was still incredible tonight. RATING: Satisfied.
9. Cameron Smith – the Captain of the Squad demonstrated exactly why he is the greatest player in the game today. RATING: Satisfied.
10. Nate Myles – good ol’ Myles, no punch ups this time thank goodness. Wasn’t outstanding but wasn’t bad either. RATING: Neither satisfied or dissatisfied.
11. Chris McQueen – good ol’ McQueen and his green eyes also did not wow me with his performance but he still played pretty well. RATING: Neither satisfied or dissatisfied.
12. Sam Thaiday – Thaiday started off the game firing on all cylinders then kind of went down after that but finished the game on a high. RATING: Satisfied.
13. Corey Parker – SolSat’s darling Corey Parker played the whole game excellently keeping up his great form… until he let that try in from Merrin. You could see that he was tired so I may let that one slide. RATING: Satisfied.
14. Daly Cherry-Evans – DCE didn’t play as well as he did in the second game but he was still fired up keeping me impressed nevertheless. RATING: Satisfied.
15. Ben Te’o – some excellent plays there from the former Bronco. He let out a penalty but also kept up some great defense. RATING: Satisfied.
16. Matt Gillett – my Bronco played well tonight despite giving away a penalty. Deserves a good pat on the back. RATING: Satisfied.
17. Josh Papali’i – the soft-spoken gentle giant’s defense is damn unmatched. His heavy hitting tackles are cringeworthy and then he just gets up with a cute smile on his face. RATING: Satisfied.

Congratulations Queensland Maroons, a well deserved win from all of you. Keep up the good work and make it 9 in a row in 2014! Now to celebrate my victory by decking myself out in Maroon when I go to college tomorrow. Noah out!

– by The Black Widow

Maroons Squad Remains Unchanged

Chairman, Coach and Captain at the team announcement. (SOURCE: Queensland Maroons Facebook)

Chairman, Coach and Captain at the team announcement. (SOURCE: Queensland Maroons Facebook)

The final game is coming up, the cliffhanger of rugby league. The decider of State of Origin. As always, I look forward to the naming of the Maroons squad and was quite surprised to see that there were no changes to the team and wondered, “Is that a good idea or a bad idea?” Here is your Queensland team for the Origin Decider:

1. Billy Slater
2. Darius Boyd
3. Greg Inglis
4. Justin Hodges
5. Brent Tate
6. Johnathan Thurston
7. Cooper Cronk
8. Matt Scott
9. Cameron Smith (c)
10. Nate Myles
11. Chris McQueen
12. Sam Thaiday
13. Corey Parker
14. Daly Cherry-Evans
15. Ben Te’o
16. Matt Gillett
17. Josh Papali’i
18. Jacob Lillyman
19. Will Chambers

Coming off a clear victory over the Blues in game two, it would make sense that the team that performed so well together would remain intact. However, with omissions from the game one squad like Shillington and Harrison, the former of which I have a personal soft spot for, is it exactly the wisest move?

There are those within the squad that would remain “untouched” – Slater, Smith, Inglis and Cronk just to name a few, essentially meaning that they can get comfortable because unless an injury occurs, their spot in the team is pretty much guaranteed. The others on the team, as talented as they are, have to work hard to earn their spot on the squad and that is where the changes happen.

One of the most consistent players on the Queensland side, keeping up an impressive form throughout the 2013 Origin series has been my fave Corey Parker. Playing as an interchange in game one, Parker put on a great performance with some good runs and tackles, possibly being one of the main Queenslanders for game one, earning himself the no. 13 jersey in game two over Ashley Harrison. Continuing his terrific form in game two, it was no shock to me that Parker retained his Lock status for the decider, which isn’t a knock on Harrison in the slightest as Parker’s performances this year have been some of his best in his career.

Another interchange Cinderella story happens in the form of young Rabbitoh Chris McQueen. Also coming off the bench to put on a great performance in game one, McQueen seized a starting position in game two in the second row. His fantastic form in game two also contributed to the fact that the squad has remained the same.

Even with the loss of Origin players like Shillington and Harrison, the successful game two squad are looking to continue the momentum in the decider and make it 8 in a row. Bias aside, I believe that we’ve got this one. The Maroons put on a rugby clinic in game two and with the added pressure of the deciding victory in game three, it will only motivate the squad to keep on truckin’ up hill and defeat the Blues on their own turf.

Of course, if I don’t achieve victory next week, I hope for an excellent game of league that’ll keep me on my toes for the full 80 minutes – literally on my toes as I tend to skip around when excited.

Here’s to a great game of league and an 8-in-a-row Maroons victory.

– by The Black Widow