The match scores at 6-4 were close. The game statistics showed NSW edging Qld in most categories, except that penalties favoured the Blues 9-5 and missed tackles favoured them 29-13.
Experienced players have said that the series is the toughest they have played in. The injury carnage has been severe, with 15 players going down.
I’m not sure why the referees got the sack, except that it is what the NSW camp called for. I thought some penalties should have been blown early for extra work in the ruck. My maroon eyes saw two NSW high shots that were let go in the first 10 minutes. They probably were not sacked because they got the Thaiday no-try wrong.
Wrong? Yes, wrong.
From former referee and referee boss Bill Harrigan:
“On the Sam Thaiday incident, well … it’s a try,” Harrigan told Triple M on Friday night.
“I know people are saying he (Hayne) didn’t play at the ball — of course he played at the ball.
“He knocked it out of Thaiday’s hand. It means the ball is ‘live’, it’s not a knock-on, not a loose carry.
“If he didn’t touch the ball, Sam has it in his (arm) and he scores a try.”
“I thought Sam’s was a try, seriously,” he said.
“He was stripped and here we go, whether he knocked the ball on … it was a strip.
“In Origin that can make a difference but we won’t offer any excuses.”
If Thaiday scores NSW have to score twice. Unlikely. They scored once, courtesy of us with poor discipline giving them five consecutive sets at the line.
The dead tree version of the Courier mail showed Hayne dislodging the ball from Thaiday’s grasp with a clenched fist punch as he threw his arm around.
Them’s the breaks and we have to suck it up.
The press gives the impression that the players hate each other, but there seems to be a lot of respect, as Reynolds showed when he told Thurston “I look up to you, man.”
Channel 9 won the night which was a ratings record.
For the third it should be a dry track so with the help of the referees we can hope for a bit more football.