Sport

One step from greatness

If the Maroons are to win the decider, Queensland's big three - Cameron Smith, Cooper Cronk and Johnathan Thurston must dictate, and dominate.
If the Maroons are to win the decider, Queensland's big three - Cameron Smith, Cooper Cronk and Johnathan Thurston must dictate, and dominate. Getty Images

NOT that they need to prove anything, but if the Maroons can pull a seventh successive Origin series out of the bag on Wednesday they will confirm their status as one of the greatest teams of all time.

So far in this series they have not produced anywhere near their best.

And while the Blues have never been all that far away in their six consecutive series defeats, they are without doubt a more confident and dangerous team this time.

Queensland has always been strong on loyalty - a quality bred as much by the lack of numbers as a cultivated philosophy. But the speculation on just who will play next Wednesday night is 100% loyalty based.

Billy Slater is a champion, and a matchwinner. When pundits contemplate the best player in the game, the former Golden Boot winner is generally mentioned in the first breath.

The school of thought is that Slater, at 90%, is probably as good as anyone fully fit. But the too-ing and fro-ing this week over the fitness of the Storm fullback cannot be having a positive effect on the Queensland camp. And continued speculation over Matt Scott, Sam Thaiday, Justin Hodges, Nate Myles and Brent Tate is probably just paper talk, but is making the fans nervous.

There is, I detect, a growing feeling among the punters that the magnificent reign of the Maroons is about to end. In fact from mouths I never suspected, I have heard the words uttered 'a NSW win would be good for the game'.

So the ball is now squarely in the court of Queensland's big three - Cameron Smith, Cooper Cronk and Johnathan Thurston. If the Maroons are to win the decider this trio must dictate, and dominate.

And their preparation over the next five days is paramount because - without doubt - the Blues are coming to get them.

 

Winter Sale

Most major retailers have a winter sale, so maybe it's fashionable that the NRL should have one too.

What other conclusion could fans make of the door slamming that has occurred over the past few weeks? The usual trickle of players moving before the June 30 registration deadline has become a flood and is a poor look for the game.

If a player is not getting a fair crack at NRL level where he is and another club wants him, fair enough. But in the case of Roosters pair Sam Perrett and Anthony Mitchell, both were regular NRL players.

What does their departure say about their club, and what message does it send to their teammates? The obvious turmoil does help explain the errant form of the Roosters over the past three weeks.

At the time of going to press players who have jumped camp so far this season have been Mitch Brown (Tigers to Bulldogs), Krisnan Inu (Warriors to Bulldogs), Anthony Mitchell (Roosters to Cowboys), Sam Perrett (Roosters to Bulldogs), Nafe Seluini (Panthers to Roosters), Masada Iosefa (Panthers to Tigers), Luke Kelly (Melbourne to Parramatta), Dane Gagai (Broncos to Knights), Sandor Earl (Panthers to Raiders) and Richie Fa'aoso (Knights to Storm).

And with a day to go, there could be more.

 

Maroon Blues

In another resentful swipe at Queensland's six-year domination, a Sydney newspaper this week listed a team of Origin Maroons not born in the Sunshine State. A mighty fine team it was too, with Greg Inglis, Sam Thaiday, Petero Civoniceva, Matt Gillett and Ben Te'o making the cut.

But, as this NSW-born scribe can attest, life in the north is wonderful and the envy of many. But in pre-State of Origin days, Queenslanders were forced to head south to make a living from rugby league. They then returned, in blue jerseys, to help whip their mates.

So in response to the NSW jibe, here is a team of Queensland's best exports who helped prop up past NSW teams: Kerry Boustead, John Ribot, John McDonald, John Rhodes, Lionel Williamson, John Peard, Duncan Thompson, Arthur Beetson, John Lang, Kevin Ryan, John Wittenberg, Kel O'Shea, Rod Reddy. Interchange: Elton Rasmussen, Harry Bath, Paul McCabe, Mark Harris.

Topics:  maroons nsw blues state or origin



How to do Eat Street the right way

EVERYTHING you need to know to get the most out of your Eat Street experience and to avoid a food coma when you’re only one stall deep.

Don’t go chasing waterfalls…find them on these drives!

The Scenic Rim is just one place nearby that you'll love.

BRISBANE isn’t all bright lights and city slickers.

Science Festival seriously awesome

Don't miss the World Science Festival Brisbane!

CALLING everyone who wants to see something totally cool.

Drink where the cool kids do this summer

There are a bunch of new bars open in Brisbane, make sure you're there!

CHECK out these new funky bars.

Discover Brisbane’s laneway gems

Brisbane's laneways will surprise you.

NOT all of Brisbane City is as it seems…

Top five things to experience this summer in Brisbane

Tangalooma is amazing if you're keen for a dive, kayak or swim.

THIS summer get out and explore your capital city.

Your boots are made for walking these tours

Brisbane Greeters tours are a great way to learn the local history of the city.

YOU don’t need a bike or bus for a seriously good tour of Brisbane.

Eight things to do on the Fraser Coast this weekend

THIS WEEKEND: Hervey Bay library Rattle & Rhyme morning for mums and children under two. Hannah Udovisi and 5 month old Maya learn about reading books.

Things to do on the Fraser Coast this weekend.

Curry serves up a second to qualify, Powers 7th

SILVER LINING: Col Curry finishes second in the junior race.

Col Curry is Wide Bay's fifth national representative.

Why correct disposal of helium balloons is vital

Dr Potvin, who has a PHD in zoology, believes the "no helium balloon policy” at shopping centres is a step in the right direction.

"It's sad but great it's got the media attention.”

Local Partners

McConnell Lookout closed for road works

North Burnett Regional Council closes McConnell Lookout for two weeks to improve safety, and replacing timber handrails and wood fire barbecues.


Musical to come to life at Brolga Theatre

The wardrobe team surrounded by fabrics and accessories in the costume room at the Brolga Theatre.

Ken is no stranger to the Maryborough music scene

REVIEW: Under the Gun doco looks at right to bear arms

ARMED: A still from the 2016 documentary film Under the Gun by Stephanie Soechtig.

An in-depth look into America's gun culture.

Messing with your head

MIND BLOWN: What could be weirder than the realisation that we have another completely separate brain and nervous system than the one originating in our heads?

Fascinating connection between your gut and your brain

Living End, Grinspoon stars hit stage for American Idiot

GET a sneak peek at Green Day's American Idiot The Musical as we go behind the scenes to meet the stars at a QPAC rehearsal.

Samuel L Jackson dismisses La La Land ahead of Oscars

Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone in a scene from the movie La La Land.

Hollywood actor and Oscars voter says Denzel should win top gong

Live performance of Sci-fi classic to open Science Festival

Qld Symphony Orchestra perform live to 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Festival will host A Live Presentation of 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Former Family Matters stare accused of child abuse

Reginald VelJohnson, left, and Darius McCrary arrive at the TV Land Awards on Sunday, April 19, 2009 in Universal City, Calif.

Darius McCrary has been accused of child abuse

Bindi Irwin's birthday tribute to her dad

Bindi Irwin

Bindi Irwin has paid tribute to her dad on his 55th birthday

Reality TV show gives Maryborough a boost

*WARNING EMBARGOED until 9.15pm Monday January 30* Sean Hollands and Susan Rawlings pictured after their wedding on the TV series Married At First Sight. Supplied by Channel 9.

Maryborough looks good on reality TV show.

Buderim dad rejects gay son's emotional plea for second time

LOVERS: Grant and Chris have been together for more than three years, and Chris' parents refuse to acknowledge their son's fiance.

Son’s emotional plea rejected again by unmoved father

$140k damage: landlord says property trashed, contaminated

He had what he calls "the tenants from hell"

Submarine, buses and 3000 tyres removed in $100K clean up

The list of things removed from this property is beyond astonishing

Popular island resort sells to loaded international investor

OUR PICK: Chris Foey's colourful shot of one of Gladstone's great tourism hot spots, Heron Island.

International investor snaps up piece of Gladstone paradise.

Ipswich facing housing shortage: Property expert

Matusik Property Insights director Michael Matusik.

What's next for the city's housing market

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!