Thursday, May 28, 2015

Having a Rant - State of Origin Game 1

I need to vent today, so skip this post if you've no interest in football - rugby league - state of origin - me ranting!

Last night's game had me fuming. Absolutely ashamed to be a Blue. Why? Because some of the players on the Blues team have egos that are far huger than their abilities. For years I've thought this, but last night blew my mind. If I was choosing the state side, for either team, some of the guys in that game would not be there, would never even be considered. I know footballers, or any sports people at the elite level, need egos. You don't get to the top without a healthy dose of self-worth...but when you're combining into a team, egos have to match ability and, to a certain extent, be left at the door.

Queensland seem to be able to do this. NSW rarely.

Is this a sign of the coaching? The attitude around the teams? The players chosen themselves? The captains? The history of each team?

Yes. For all those questions.

As a spectator, I can only look and interpret what I see. I know I'm a little one-eyed sometimes, and I'm rather opinionated, and my opinions rarely match the masses. But here's my opinion, cos it's my blog and I need to express my fury!

Qld has a wealth of highly decorated players in their team. There are a handful of club captains in their roster. As we've heard all build up, the Qld team is 'old' which means most of the guys have earned their reputations by what they do on the football field. On paper, these guys should have huge personality clashes...there are some big reputations in that team...but that doesn't seem to happen. They function like a team, work together by doing their job and somehow that gels.

NSW...gees, where do I start? Let me start with Pearce or Farah, because I would never have them in an elite team, yet they keep being chosen. Neither are imaginative players. I don't see any evidence of a brilliant footy brain in either of these guys. They don't seem to read the play as quickly as I expect they should, especially when it's not a set play. They're left scrambling, in the wrong place, doing the wrong thing, no longer in control of the game they should be controlling. Pearce's kicking game last night was incredibly boring. Why would you kick time and again down Billy Slater's throat? He drops what, a ball in 10 games? It made very little impact except to give the ball back to Qld. Yet he kept doing it. Some of the commentators even thought it was brilliant because it was testing Billy's shoulder - except there was no evidence that Billy Slater had a shoulder issue. Was Pearce/Daley a victim of the Qld media campaign?

Fair enough Farah was injured in the first half, probably badly, but no one helped out at the dummy half role. No one came in and said to the skipper, I'll give this a go while you take a bit of a breather - even for a set, or half a set. What happened to the halves? Neither of them think to help out? Look at Qld...their hooker gets a breather, and got quite a few last night, which lets him complete 80 minutes at a high work rate still thinking at the end of the game.

And the bit that had me fuming for hours...what happened to taking the field goal? Three times they set themselves up with Hodgkinson in place ready to drill it. And what happened? The ball ended up in other people's hands. Why? Who the f*ck knows. Certainly at the end of the game Pearce had no idea - yet he's supposedly one of the freaking playmakers. Farah, the other playmaker, didn't seem to know what was happening. Is this because he slogs himself through every game and by the end is out on his feet with no blood getting to his brain, so nothing happens in the thinking department. He's unimaginative at the best of times but appalling towards the end of the game, more so last night when he may have been in pain as well as exhausted. Hodkinson, another of the playmakers, was in his position and so not available to set the plays...does that mean he was the only one who knew what was going on out there?And did he know, or was he playing his own game? Did he call for the field goal, or just stand there and think it was happening?

Yes, I'm hammering the halves and the hooker. But they're the guys who have to set the plays, steer the team around, have a brain, and work the ball to suit the team's plans. The forwards were firing. The backline, on one side at least, was firing, yet in the centre where everything is supposed to happen...they were so far from firing. It was appalling. Absolutely appalling.

There will be loads of excuses - again. There are even people who think these guys had brilliant games but I disagree. Look at the respective positions in Qld and look at the possession stats. NSW's defence stopped the score line from being a disgrace but defence is only half the game. Until NSW can function in attack, they will never win.

NSW did not deserve to win last night. They don't deserve to win until they can play like a team. 13 individuals is useless out there because no one knows what's going on. A forward pack and a backline that works, is hopeless without playmakers who can make plays.

Qld function. NSW don't.

And that makes me ashamed of being a Blue.


  1. Oh go you! Tell it how you see it, Cate!
    Me and hubs watched the game. I go for QLD. Hubs goes for the Blues. I finally got a good look at Cooper Cronk by the way and thought of you the entire time... nice face! I thought it was a really intense game of rugby league - and you know that being a West Aussie girl my knowledge of NRL is not the same as the AFL, but I can appreciate what you say.

    1. LOL! How bad is it that you watch the game, perv on him, and think of me!? I'm such a bad influence :) I think it's his legs that really get to me...good they're hot!

      Thanks, Lily :)

      Cate xo