Every week Waleed Aly and Scott Stevens bang on at ABC RN’s The Minefield for about 40 minutes on what they see as profound ethical and philosophical questions inherent in our politics and our culture, how we see the world and how we live in it. They always have a guest to help them.
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.
I decided I want to be there (here) as the dream continues, or, as it inevitably must, comes to an end. Also, there may even be one or two readers who are interested and care.
We are told that Qld have won the last five at “the cauldron”, that NSW hasn’t won a series opening here since 2003, but make no mistake, many recent games have been close. For example in 2012 it was one game all and Qld looked OK close to home in the decider at 20-14, when NSW put up an attacking bomb. The Qld player looked to have it covered when Josh Morris flew through the air, took it out of the Qld player’s hands and scored in the corner:
The try was converted from the sideline, so suddenly it’s 20 all. Greg Inglis then almost slid over for a try, but hit the goal posts. Then Cooper Cronk sank the Blues’ hopes with a field goal at the death.
So either side can win.
A lot could be said about selection. Qld have gone light and perhaps mobile in the forward pack with only one big bopper (110kg or over). NSW have three.
Last year we had the disgraceful incident where Gallen punched Myles in the face, twice, and only missed one club match:
Gerard Whately said he would have got 7 weeks in the AFL. It took until Sunday on Debbie Spillane’s program before anyone mentioned “One punch can kill!”
There won’t be any of that rubbish tonight.
Finally it is almost certain that we will be talking about the referees after the game. This year more than ever games are being decided on faulty or questionable refereeing decisions.
It should be a good game. In this part of the world there is only one other rivalry that comes close. That’s Australia vs NZ at netball.