Discussion in 'Rep Footy' started by rhugh89, Jul 4, 2014.

  1. rhugh89

    rhugh89 Danny 'Bedsy' Buderus Staff Member Admin

    Aug 12, 2012


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    Kick Off: 8:00 PM

    Referees: Gerrard Sutton & Ben Cummins
    Sideline Referees: Steve Carall & Jason Walsh
    Video Referees: Bernard Sutton & Luke Patten


    #uptheblues #QLDER


    QLD Residents
    vs NSW Residents@ 4.45 PM



    1. Billy Slater
    2. Darius Boyd
    3. Greg Inglis
    4. Justin Hodges
    5. Will Chambers
    6. Johnathon Thurston
    7. Cooper Cronk
    8. Jacob Lillyman
    9. Cameron Smith (c)
    10. Nate Myles
    11. Aidan Guerra
    12. Sam Thaiday
    13. Corey Parker

    14. Daly Cherry-Evans
    15.Ben T'eo
    16. Matt Gillett
    17. Dave Taylor

    18. Josh McGuire
    19. Michael Morgan


    1. Jarryd Hayne
    2. James McManus
    3. Josh Dugan
    4. Josh Morris
    5. Daniel Tupou
    6. Josh Reynolds
    7. Trent Hodkinson
    8. Paul Gallen (c)
    9. Robbie Farah
    10. Aaron Woods
    11. Beau Scott
    12. Ryan Hoffman
    13. Greg Bird

    14. Trent Merrin
    15. Boyd Cordner
    16. James Tamou
    17. Luke Lewis

    All discussion on the game in this thread. Pre-match (predictions, vBookie) live score updates & post-match thoughts

    NOTE: Player withdrawals are a possibility before kick off.

    We cannot provide refunds so please keep this in mind when placing bets on vBookie events.​
  2. rhugh89

    rhugh89 Danny 'Bedsy' Buderus Staff Member Admin

    Aug 12, 2012
    Stats - State of Origin Game 3 - NSW vs QLD @ Suncorp Stadium

    Head to Head

    Played - 101
    NSW - 46

    QLD - 53
    Drawn - 2

    At Suncorp Stadium

    Played - 49
    NSW - 18
    QLD - 30
    Drawn - 1

    Last 10 years (2003 - 2013)

    Played - 35
    NSW - 15​
    QLD - 20

    Battle of the Coaches - Mal Meninga vs Laurie Daley

    Games - 5
    Laurie Daley - 3​
    Mal Meninga - 2

    Referees - Gerrard Sutton and Ben Cummins (Combined Origin Matches)

    Origins - 7
    Wins by NSW - 4
    Wins by QLD - 3

    Facts and Figures - Teams

    * QLD has won 9 out of the last 14 State of Origin games

    * NSW has not beaten QLD at Suncorp Stadium since 2009

    * NSW has only beaten QLD at Suncorp Stadium 6 times since 2000

    * QLD has won their last 5 out of their last 6 games at Suncorp Stadium

    * QLD's average margin of victory at Suncorp Stadium since 1980 is 12.9 points

    * QLD's average margin of victory at Suncorp Stadium since their dominance began in 2006 is 15.5 points

    * In that time they have recorded victories of 30-6, 30-0, 34-6 and 26-6

    * NSW have only won at Suncorp Stadium 3 times since QLD's dominance began in 2006

    * The average amount of total points scored in origin matches since 1980 is 32.19 points

    * The average margin of victory in origin matches since 1980 is 9.8 points

    Facts and Figures - Players (Origin Records)

    * Billy Slater has scored 11 tries in his 24 origins

    * Darius Boyd has scored 14 tries in his 19 origins

    * Greg Inglis has scored 15 tries in his 23 origins

    * Justin Hodges has scored 5 tries in his 20 origins

    * Will Chambers will make his Origin Debut

    * Jarryd Hayne has scored 9 tries in his 18 origins

    * James McManus has scored 1 try in his 2 origins

    * Josh Morris has scored 3 tries in his 9 origins

    * Josh Dugan is yet to score in his 4 origins

    * William Hopoate has scored 1 try in his only origin

    * Johnathon Thurston has scored 5 tries, kicked 70 goals, kicked 3 field goals for a total of 162 points in his 28 origins

    Facts and Figures - Players (2014 NRL Season)

    * Billy Slater has 8 line break assists this season

    * Billy Slater has made 1,865m in his 12 games this season at an average of 155.41m per game

    * Billy Slater has made 8 line breaks in his 12 games this season

    * Billy Slater has scored 8 tries in his 12 games this season

    * Billy Slater has made 19 errors in his 12 games this season at an average of 1.58 errors per game

    * Cooper Cronk has 6 line break assists this season

    * Cooper Cronk has 14 try assists this season

    * Ryan Hoffman has made 1,647m in his 14 games this season at an average of 117.64m per game

    * Ryan Hoffman has made 317 tackles in his 14 games this season at an average of 22.64 tackles per game

    * Ryan Hoffman has made 32 missed tackles in his 14 games this season at an average of 2.28 missed tackles per game

    * Ryan Hoffman has made 10 errors in his 14 games this season at an average of 0.71 errors per game

    * Cameron Smith has made 551 tackles in his 13 games this season at an average of 42.38 tackles per game

    * Cameron Smith has missed 24 tackles in his 13 games this season at an average of 1.84 per game

    * Cameron Smith has made 2 errors in his 13 games this season at an average of 0.15 errors per game

    * Will Chambers has made 1,467m in 12 games this year at an average of 122.5m per game

    * Will Chambers has made 8 line breaks in his 12 games this season

    * Will Chambers has scored 7 tries in his 12 games this season

    * Josh McGuire has made 1,785m in his 14 games this season at an average of 127.5m per game

    * Josh McGuire has made 535 tackles in his 14 games this season at an average of 38.21 tackles per game

    * Josh McGuire has made 1 error in his 14 games this season at an average of 0.07 errors per game

    * Matt Gillett has made 1,426m in his 13 games this season at an average of 109.67m per game

    * Matt Gillett has scored 7 tries in his 13 games this season

    * Matt Gillett has made 7 line breaks in his 13 games this season

    * Justin Hodges has made 823m in his 8 games this season at an average of 102.75m per game

    * Justin Hodges is yet to make a line break or score a try this season

    * Corey Parker has made 1,663m in 12 games this season at an average of 138.5m per game

    * Corey Parker has made 34 offloads in 12 games this season at an average of 2.8 offloads per game

    * Corey Parker has made 380 tackles this season at an average of 31.6 tackles per game

    * Trent Hodkinson has made 4 line breaks and scored 3 tries in 11 games this season

    * Trent Hodkinson has kicked 36/43 conversions this year at 83.72%

    * Trent Hodkinson has 6 line break assists this season

    * Trent Hodkinson has 8 try assists this season

    * Josh Reynolds has 8 try assists this season

    * Jacob Lillyman has made 1,997m in his 15 games this season at an average of 133.13m per game

    * Jacob Lillyman has made 337 tackles in his 15 games this season at an average of 22.46 tackles per game

    * Jacob Lillyman has made 3 errors in his 15 games this season at an average of 0.2 errors per game

    * James Tamou has made 1,881m in 14 games this season at an average of 134.51m per game

    * James Tamou has made 359 tackles in his 14 games this season at an average of 25.64 tackles per game

    * James Tamou has made 4 errors in his 14 games this season at an average of 0.28 errors per game

    * Johnathon Thurston has made 7 line breaks and scored 6 tries in 14 games this season

    * Johnathon Thurston has 17 try assists this season

    * Johnathon Thurston has 9 line break assists this season

    * Greg Inglis has made 2,004m in 13 games this season at an average of 154.14m per game

    * Greg Inglis has made 72 tackle breaks in his 13 games this season

    * Greg Inglis has made 9 line breaks and scored 6 tries in 13 games this season

    * Daly Cherry-Evans has 14 try assists this season

    * Daly Cherry-Evans has made 6 line break assists this season

    * Beau Scott has made 5 line breaks and scored 3 tries in his 12 games this season

    * Beau Scott has made 23 offloads in his 12 games this season

    * Beau Scott has made 299 tackles in his 12 games this season at an average of 24.91 tackles per game

    * Beau Scott has made 11 errors in his 12 games this season at an average of 0.9 errors per game

    * James McManus has made 1,619m in his 15 games this season at an average of 107.93m per game

    * James McManus has made 4 line breaks and scored 4 tries in his 15 games this season

    * James McManus has made 12 errors in his 15 games this season at an average of 0.82 errors per game

    * James McManus has missed 9 tackles in his 15 games this season at an average of 0.6 missed tackles per game

    * Nate Myles has made 1,298m in his 12 games this year at an average of 108.16m per game

    * Nate Myles has made 476 tackles in his 12 games this season at an average of 39.66 tackles per game

    * Nate Myles has made 44 missed tackles in his 12 games this season at an average of 3.66 missed tackles per game

    * Nate Myles has made 5 errors in his 12 games this season at an average of 0.41 errors per game

    * Greg Bird has made 1,329m in his 11 games this season at an average of 120.81m per game

    * Greg Bird has made 231 tackles in his 11 games this season at an average of 21 tackles per game

    * Greg Bird has missed 34 tackles in his 11 games this season at an average of 3.09 missed tackles per game

    * Dave Taylor has made 1,773m in his 13 games this season at an average of 136.38m per game

    * Dave Taylor has made 19 errors in his 13 games this season at an average of 1.46 errors per game

    * Dave Taylor has missed 29 tackles in his 13 games at an average of 2.23 missed tackles per game

    * Aiden Guerra has made 1,064m in his 13 games this season at an average of 81.84m per game

    * Aiden Guerra has made 3 errors in his 13 games this season at an average of 0.23 errors per game

    * Aiden Guerra has made 391 tackles in his 13 games this season at an average of 30.07 tackles per game

    * Daniel Tupou has made 1,513m in 12 games this season at an average of 126.08m per game

    * Daniel Tupou has made 12 line breaks in his 12 games this season

    * Daniel Tupou has scored 8 tries in his12 games this season

    * Boyd Cordner has made 1,193m in his 11 games this season at an average of 108.45m per game

    * Boyd Cordner has made 7 line breaks and scored 6 tries in his 11 games this season

    * Boyd Cordner has made 288 tackles in his 11 games this season at an average of 26.18 tackles per game

    * Boyd Cordner has missed 25 tackles in his 11 games this season at an average of 2.27 missed tackles per game

    * Boyd Cordner has made 10 errors in his 11 games this season at an average of 0.90 errors per game

    * Trent Merrin has made 2,002m in his 14 games this season at an average of 143m per game

    * Trent Merrin has made 506 tackles in his 14 games this season at an average of 36.14 tackles per game

    * Trent Merrin has made 26 offloads in his 14 games this season at an average of 1.85 offloads per game

    * Josh Dugan has made 1,312 in his 10 games this season at an average of 131.2m per game

    * Josh Dugan has made 5 line breaks and scored 6 tries in his 10 games this season

    * Aaron Woods has made 1,682m in his 12 games this season at an average of 140.16m per game

    * Aaron Woods has made 386 tackles in 12 games this season at an average of 32.16 tackles per game

    * Aaron Woods has made 22 offloads in his 12 games this season at an average of 1.83 offloads per game

    * Robbie Farah has made 995m in his 9 games this season at an average of 110.55m per game

    * Robbie Farah has made 4 line breaks and scored 4 tries in 8 games this season

    * Robbie Farah has made 389 tackles in his 9 games this season at an average of 43.22 tackles per game

    * Jarryd Hayne has 11 try assists this season

    * Jarryd Hayne has 10 line break assists this season

    * Jarryd Hayne has made 2,116m in his 13 games this season at an average of 162.76m per game

    * Jarryd Hayne has scored 11 tries in 13 games this season

    * Jarryd Hayne has made 14 line breaks in 13 games this season

    * Jarryd Hayne has made 70 tackle breaks in 13 games this season at an average of 5.38 tackle breaks per game

    * Paul Gallen has made 1,089m in his 7 games this season at an average of 155.57m per game

    * Paul Gallen has made 18 offloads in his 7 games this season at an average of 2.57 offloads per game

    * Paul Gallen has made 227 tackles in his 7 games this season at an average of 32.42 tackles per game

    Statsman'sPrediction and Best Bet


    NSW - 26
    QLD - 10
    FTS - Darius Boyd
    LTS - James McManus
    MOTM - Paul Gallen

    Best Bets

    Jump on our Darius Boyd, James McManus and Beau Scott bonus bets !!
  3. rhugh89

    rhugh89 Danny 'Bedsy' Buderus Staff Member Admin

    Aug 12, 2012
    State of Origin: NSW selection of out of form James McManus proves winning breeds loyalty

    • JULY 02, 2014 9:33AM

    JAMES McManus is proof Origin loyalty no longer carries a Queensland copyright.

    Despite conceding he “would like to be going better” — and playing in a Newcastle side that currently sits third last — McManus is on the cusp of an Origin “Blue Rinse”.

    Brought into the side for injured Eel Will Hopoate, McManus is proof of just how far the Blues “culture” has come in two years under coach Laurie Daley.

    It is also shows how, especially in Origin, nothing breeds loyalty quiet like winning.

    Despite the outstanding form of Penrith flyer Josh Mansour, Daley has opted to replace Hopoate with the Knights flanker who played last year and back in 2009.

    And with the series won, who would argue?

    “James was on the verge of selection in Origin I,” Daley said on Tuesday.

    “But we had Brett Morris and Daniel Tupou playing a bit better.

    “And while James’ form may have slipped a little since then, he’s been part of this team before so he knows what to expect of us.”

    Just as importantly, they know what to expect of him.

    “There’s no doubt Laurie has shown faith in me and now I have to repay that,” McManus said.

    “Even though as a club we haven’t been going great at Newcastle, they know what I can do … now I just have to get out there and do it.”

    Asked about his recent form McManus continued:

    “I would’ve liked to be going better.

    “But sometimes, out on the wing, you can rely on how the team is going a bit.

    “It hasn’t been going too great for us at Newcastle but we’ve had a couple of wins in recent weeks and hopefully we can build on that.”

    McManus also insisted there were no thoughts about this game being a dead rubber.

    “I’ve played two Origins and lost both … so certainly not,” he said.

    “I’m coming in with shoes to fill and I need to get it done.”


    - - - Updated - - -

    State of Origin III preview

    By Tony Webeck, Chief Queensland Correspondent
    3:03pm Wed 02nd July, 2014

    Queensland v New South Wales
    Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
    Wednesday, 8.15pm

    Ever since the first Origin 'dead rubber' was played at Lang Park back in 1984, the honour of holding up the trophy for the series champions has more often than not come while the stench of defeat is still lingering overhead.

    In the past 30 years when already-decided series have had their final act played out in the Queensland capital, the Origin champions have triumphed just four times out of 11 occasions, the last being the Blues of 1996 who secured a 3-0 series whitewash with a
    Brad Fittler field goal and a 15-14 triumph in Game Three.

    The last time New South Wales were able to stroll into Suncorp safe in the knowledge that the Origin shield was secure was back in 2003 and in front of 52,130 Queensland fans (just 290 less than attended Game One), the Maroons dished out a 36-6 hammering.

    Likewise, NSW have been able to spoil Queensland celebrations in enemy territory in 2009 and 2007 but the 47 per cent winning record of the team leading the series 2-0 is proof enough that it is difficult to fully prepare for an Origin when the ultimate prize has already been won.

    Queensland officials are bringing back as many of the 49 players who have been a part of the Maroons' eight-year winning streak from 2006-2013 as they can track down and the current squad are determined to 'celebrate the eight' with a big performance on home soil.

    The only changes the Maroons have made have been forced through injury to both Matt Scott and Brent Tate with Will Chambers finally getting his Origin debut on the wing and Jacob Lillyman earning his first call-up to the run-on side in place of Scott.

    Cooper Cronk has made a miraculous recovery from a broken arm to slot straight back in at halfback, pushing Daly Cherry-Evans back to the bench while Dave Taylor retains his spot in the 17 courtesy of the ankle injury to Chris McQueen.

    The Blues have also been forced into changing a winning side with Will Hopoate, Michael Jennings and Anthony Watmough all unavailable, opening up returns for James McManus, Josh Morris and Boyd Cordner.

    Players from both camps will tell you that there is no such thing as a dead rubber in Origin but history shows us that it is often the vanquished who possess the greatest motivation.

    Watch out Maroons:

    If he can deliver somewhere close to the type of performance he displayed in Game One, there is no greater certainty in the 2014 season than that Blues fullback Jarryd Hayne will be named the player of the series.

    In terms of attacking threats to the Maroons in games where defence often reigns supreme, Hayne's pure numbers stand out like a beacon over the Blues sea.

    His 15 tackle breaks from two games are six more than any other NSW player has managed and of the four line breaks the Blues have made, two belong to the 'Hayne plane'.

    He went into Origin II with energy levels sapped by a gastro bug in the 24 hours prior; a big showing here in his 20th Origin appearance will stamp him forever as an Origin great.

    Watch out Blues:

    They know it's coming but in two games so far this series the Blues have still been unable to find a way to stop Justin Hodges from making big metres out of dummy-half.

    The 32-year-old has been one of Queensland's best in both games and a significant part of his contribution stems from the momentum he gives his side out of dummy-half.

    His 152 metres from 16 runs out of dummy-half in the opening two games is more than 50 metres clear of next best Robbie Farah and make up close to 64 per cent of his total run metres.

    He showed with his line break leading into half-time of Game Two that he is prepared to venture well in from his right centre position and with a new winger outside him in Will Chambers, it opens up the possibility for an extra dimension to the Queensland attack on that side of the field.

    Plays to Watch:

    With the series decided and a new combination of referees, expect to see a more open, free-flowing Origin match than what we have witnessed in games one and two.

    Any extra time and space will enable Queensland halfback Cooper Cronk to head right and either hit Matt Gillett short, play flat to Justin Hodges or pick up Billy Slater sweeping around the back.

    Josh Reynolds' inclination to come flying off his line may also be a target for the Maroons' playmakers.

    For NSW, the continued development of Josh Dugan as a strike weapon at right centre gives them extra potency on Jarryd Hayne's favoured side; look for Hayne to sweep out the back and drop off to a strong-running Dugan coming back on the angle on his inside.

    Key Match-up: Cameron Smith v Robbie Farah

    Robbie Farah was our Man of the Match in Game Two but if Queensland had somehow found a way to hang on, their skipper Cameron Smith would have been the man to get the gong.

    Such is the importance of the hooker position at Origin level as they dictate not only the speed of the ruck but their probing out of dummy-half is a key way to get momentum in a set.

    Farah has touched the ball on 24 more occasions than his counterpart and has 31 more running metres out of dummy-half from two games but Smith's greatest asset comes not from stats but the calming influence he has on his team and his complete control of the situation.

    The niggling tactics and resulting slow ruck speed almost played straight into Smith's hands in Game Two; the Blues would be well advised to get the ball out of that area as quickly as possible if they hope to achieve a clean sweep.

    Where it will be won: NSW have had to come from behind to claim both victories in the series to date but if they allow Queensland to wrest control away early in this one they may find it harder to get back.

    With the series won the desperation won't be as prevalent and if the Maroons get a sniff of having a night out, they may do enough damage by half-time to make the second stanza almost redundant.

    The opening 20 minutes is a key period in all big games but whoever gets on top early next Wednesday night may find they are granted opportunities they could only have dreamed of in the first two games.


    The social media hashtag #oneinarow got quite the workout in the wake of Game Two and Blues fans will tell you that, for the past two games at least, it has been all NSW.

    With a total of 30 points scored so far across two games the record for the lowest number of points scored in an Origin series is under threat, the record low mark currently standing with the 1992 series won by NSW where a total of 49 points were scored across the three games.

    The win by NSW at Suncorp in Game One was just their fifth in Brisbane since the opening game of 2003 and their overall record stands at just 18 wins from 50 visits to 'the cauldron'.

    Match officials:

    Referee: Ben Cummins
    Assistant Referee: Gerard Sutton
    Touch Judges: Steve Carrall and Jason Walsh
    Video Referees: Bernard Sutton and Luke Patten


    Channel Nine – Live 7.30pm

    How we see it:

    The fact that there have been only seven clean sweeps from 32 series since the Origin concept went to a three-game format in 1982 shows not only how evenly-matched these two teams have been over history but also how hard it is to perform at your absolute peak three times in the one series.

    NSW have recorded just three clean sweeps in Origin history, the last one coming with the 56-16 humiliation of Game Three, 2000.

    Blues coach Laurie Daley will drum into his team all week the need to replicate the exact same environment they created for the first two games, but can they reproduce that desperate defence when nothing is actually at stake?

    Their first series defeat in nine years has been called the end of an era for the Maroons; they might just want to prove there's life in the old dog yet.

    Queensland by eight points.


    - - - Updated - - -

    State of Origin: Canberra Raiders centre Jarrod Croker called into Blues camp for experience

    • AAP
    • JULY 03, 2014 3:06PM

    NEW South Wales coach Laurie Daley has given a future Origin star his first taste of the Blues environment - calling Jarrod Croker into the squad’s Coffs Harbour camp.

    The 23-year-old goalkicking centre has been one of the few bright lights in another tough season for the Raiders and his call up to camp is a reward for consistently strong performances, including a representative appearance for Country earlier this season.

    While Croker will train with the NSW squad in the lead-up to Origin III, the NSWRL made it clear he had not been selected as 18th man.

    An official 18th man will be named later in the week.


    - - - Updated - - -

    State of Origin: ‘Blue Wall’ catch cry helps NSW repel Maroons for incredible defensive record

    • JULY 03, 2014 3:21PM

    THE history-making Blues are the greatest defensive NSW State of Origin team in 22-years, driven by two words that have limited a Queensland side loaded with future Immortals to just two tries in two matches.

    Screaming ‘Blue Wall’ to the man beside them as the Maroons plundered away time and again at their tryline in Origin I and II, all 17 NSW players claim the war cry has been the catalyst to their success.

    And so, as they confirmed prior to training on Thursday, it will be one more time, next Wednesday night in Brisbane.

    “We want to go out there and come away from this game, knowing that like Origin I and II we’ve done everything possible, for each other,” NSW five-eighth Josh Reynolds said.

    No-nonsense prop Aaron Woods added:

    “That’s the thing, we’ve wanted to be known as a team, not just a team of individuals.

    “We just want to work for our mate and we did that.

    “They didn’t score in game two and they only scored two tries in the first game, so a lot of credit to the boys.

    “We’ve got to keep telling each other to keep pushing through. Go set by set, don’t think too much about except for the set you’re going into.

    “It’s tough times out there. I love it.”

    NSW have limited Queensland to just 12-points this series, the lowest tally of points scored by the Maroons since the 1992 side scored 15-points in three matches in 1992.

    Boyd’s two tries in Origin I were the only two occasions the NSW tryline has been crossed this series, with the Maroons’ four points in Origin II provided by Johnathan Thurston’s two penalty conversions.

    It’s an incredible statistic that would have seemed unimaginable prior to Origin I, considering the plethora of Maroons attacking brilliance which includes Greg Inglis, Billy Slater, Cameron Smith and Cooper Cronk.

    But in both Origin I and II, if it wasn’t Jarryd Hayne turning up to save the day, it was Reynolds, or winger Daniel Tupou, or the Morris brothers when they were playing.

    As a result of the ‘Blue Wall’, Queensland have focused on altering their game plan ahead of Origin III in a bid to break through the NSW defensive structure.

    NSW forward Greg Bird, who was suspended for Origin I, said coach Laurie Daley had already discussed maintaining the Blues’ hard-fought record.

    “On record, it’s pretty impressive,” Bird said

    “The first game, the second half, the effort the guys went too (was huge).

    “No one really knows what this game is going to turn out like, if it’s going to be a short 10 (metres) or a grubby, grinding affair like last time.

    “Hopefully it can open up a bit and we can pass the ball around and play a bit, I guess, pretty football, like the first half of game one.

    “Laurie has got tactics to work both styles of game.

    “It’s about turning up for each other again and we’ll do that.”


    - - - Updated - - -

    NSW hooker Robbie Farah declares he is as good as Queensland rake Cameron Smith

    • JULY 03, 2014 12:00AM

    NSW hooker Robbie Farah is sick of hearing how inferior he is to Queensland and Australian skipper Cam Smith.

    Farah has lit the fuse for a potentially fiery State of Origin III dead rubber by declaring:

    “I’ve shown that he is not better than me.”

    Farah even conceded he “never quite feels part of the (Australian) side” when representing the Kangaroos behind Smith.

    The pair have engaged in some epic individual battles at both club and representative level over the past 12 years.

    Smith has always been rated rugby league’s premier No. 9 — and the accolade frustrates Farah, who has current bragging rights after NSW’s series win.

    “It hurts every time when people say he’s a better hooker than me,” Farah said.

    “I’ve said it before — you might think I’m cocky — but I go out onto the field and don’t believe anyone is better than me.

    “If you do that the battle is lost already.

    "He has been regarded as the best in the game for a long time and has a mortgage on the Australian jumper and is captain of the country.

    “For me it’s about proving myself every time I play against him.

    “I’d like to think that not only this year but every time I’ve come up against him at club or at this (Origin) level, I’ve shown that he is not better than me.

    “I still believe that. It doesn’t change if we’ve won or not.

    "That’s my mindset, whether it’s him or anyone else.

    “One thing he has been praised for is his calmness and consistency and it’s something I continue to work on.

    "I believe in what I do and the way I prepare and play.”

    Farah said he has been in career-best form recently in a sixth-placed Tigers team that was tipped to struggle this season.

    “You don’t like hearing that [Smith is better],” Farah said.

    “It has taken me a while to get back in this (Origin) arena.

    "I was out of it for a couple of years.

    “I think the last couple of years I’ve played the best footy I’ve played in my career. Definitely the most consistent footy.

    “That’s something I was criticised for in the past — my flair and the options I took.

    "I like to think my consistency has improved.”

    Farah does concede though he will struggle to oust Smith as Kangaroos hooker.

    Asked was there anything he could do to become Australia’s starting hooker, Farah said:

    “Probably not."

    "Unless he gets an injury and I wouldn’t wish that upon him.

    “It’s always pretty hard going into the Aussie camp knowing you are playing second fiddle waiting for your time.

    "I never quite feel part of the side even though you are in the squad.

    “That’s the way it is, that is something you have to deal with.

    "I am lucky to have played for Australia.

    "Some guys never get the chance and I am grateful for the chance I had but I am also realistic and know where I stand and I am fine with that.

    “Some people didn’t even think I should have been in the last squad.

    "Some d**khead journalist in Queensland — I’d love to see him for a couple of minutes on a footy field.”

    NSW back-rower Ryan Hoffman spoke glowingly about Farah and Smith.

    “Cam is the best player I have ever played with,” Hoffman said.

    “I have been lucky enough to play with him for 13 years.

    "He has had a lot of success.

    "Robbie wouldn’t have had his success if he didn’t believe in his ability or believe in the type of player he is.

    “Robbie’s confidence and the belief he has in himself rubs off on his teammates.

    "That is why Robbie has been so good at the Tigers.”


    - - - Updated - - -

    State of Origin: Blatchy’s Blues will finally head to an Origin game at Suncorp Stadium

    • JULY 03, 2014 12:00AM

    BLATCHY’S Blues have never been north of the border until now.

    Exactly 16 years after celebrating his 18th birthday at Origin with a small crew of mates, famed Blues supporter Dan Blatch is finally taking his expanding army to Suncorp Stadium.

    Speaking with The Daily Telegraph last night, Blatch said he was hoping ‘‘several thousand’’ would join his trek north to see Blues skipper Paul Gallen finally lift the Origin shield.

    ‘‘The last thing we want is Gal lifting the shield to an empty stadium,’’ Blatch laughed.

    ‘‘The team has told us this year how much our support has helped them so now, as they look for a clean sweep, we want to make sure we’re inside the cauldron with them.

    ‘‘It’s funny, really, in 16 years I’ve never actually got a guernsey up in Brisbane.

    "But what better time to go than now?’’

    As is the case now with all Sydney Origin games, members of Blatchy’s Blues will receive the trademark blue wig and supporter’s blue T-shirt.

    ‘‘And I’m hoping we’ll need at least a couple of thousand,’’ he said.

    ‘‘To see the way the players came over and celebrated with us after Origin II in Sydney, it really was fantastic.

    ‘‘You look at Jarryd Hayne, he really seems to be one of those players who thrives on that group energy, whether playing with Parramatta or NSW.

    ‘‘But it wasn’t just him, they all bought in.

    "We’ve been going 16 years now and half of that has been without a win.

    "So for the boys to recognise us, to celebrate with us and even do interviews in wigs, it was fantastic.’’


    - - - Updated - - -

    Alleged pub scuffle tarnishes Will Chambers’ Queensland State of Origin debut

    • JULY 03, 2014 12:00AM

    WILL Chambers’ Origin debut hangs in the balance after the Maroons rookie was on Wednesday night embroiled in a police inquiry over an alleged pub assault.

    Six weeks after the Blues axed Mitchell Pearce over an off-field incident, the Maroons’ Origin III build-up has been hit by an assault claim against their newest member.

    The 26-year-old Melbourne flyer is due to make his Origin debut this Wednesday night, filling the right-wing void created by Brent Tate’s knee injury.

    But Chambers’ Maroons baptism could be dashed if Queensland police formally charge him over the alleged assault of Brisbane man Tristan Furniss at the Down Under Bar on Wednesday.

    Blues hierarchy are sure to watch the matter with interest.

    Before Origin I, Maroons coach Mal Meninga spoke of the perils of any player in Origin contention jeopardising their selection for the sake of a “big night out”.

    In a radio interview, he added he would drop Queensland half Cooper Cronk if he committed the same indiscretion as Pearce, who was duly axed by NSW coach Laurie Daley.

    Meninga is famed for his loyalty, but has previously warned Queensland stars he will not tolerate any erosion of the cultural standards he has set since 2006.

    It is the second consecutive campaign the Maroons have been caught in a police probe, with forward Ben Te’o last year quizzed over the alleged assault of a Brisbane woman.

    Te’o was cleared of any wrongdoing and the Chambers saga is a ruction the Maroons can do without as they fight to avert a 3-0 series rout this Wednesday night.

    Meninga declined to comment last night but said on May 20 he was proud of the culture Queensland had cultivated during their eight-year reign.

    “I’m very thankful that the quality of player in the Queensland side puts the game first,” Meninga said.

    “They understand their responsibilities and don’t jeopardise their positions or opportunity to be selected in the Queensland side and that makes me very happy.

    “Part of that responsibility is setting the right examples.

    “This group of young men want to play for Queensland.

    “I’m extremely proud of who we have in our team and that’s why they get picked all the time.”

    Brisbane duo Dale Copley and Daniel Vidot are possible wing options if Chambers is stood down.

    Chambers declined to comment upon arriving in camp on Wednesday.

    The NRL released a statement on Wednesday night, saying:

    “The NRL’s Integrity Unit has been advised of an incident involving a Queensland State of Origin player.

    “It will liaise with the Queensland Rugby League and relevant authorities on the matter.

    “The Integrity Unit will advise the outcome of its inquiries when the matter is finalised.”


    - - - Updated - - -

    Mal Meninga has egg on his face over Mitchell Pearce comments: Greg Bird

    • AAP
    • JULY 03, 2014 1:00PM

    A WAR of words has broken out between the Queensland and NSW camps with Blues enforcer Greg Bird lashing Maroons coach Mal Meninga over the Will Chambers affair.

    But Maroons enforcer Nate Myles hit back today in the build-up to Origin III, backing Chambers to mentally cope with what he says is the biggest test of the Queensland debutant’s career.

    The Queensland camp is rallying around Chambers, who is under police investigation over the alleged assault of a patron at Brisbane’s Down Under Bar yesterday morning.

    The Blues are watching the Chambers saga with interest, motivated by Meninga questioning NSW’s culture after halfback Mitchell Pearce was axed over a nightclub incident in the lead-up to Origin I.

    When asked in NSW camp today whether Meninga has egg on his face over that sentiment in light of the Chambers fallout, Bird didn’t hold back.

    “I guess he probably does,” the NSW hardman said.
    “NSW boys have been in their share of strife over the last couple of years .... off-field dramas.

    “It’s nice to be tucked away in Coffs Harbour and not be a part of it.

    “But it’s the nature of today’s society that the smallest thing is going to be exaggerated and everything from the past brought up.

    “But I am sure it’s a storm in a teacup and glamourised for the media.”

    Bird said the arrest of Blake Ferguson last year before game two in Brisbane for indecent assault was a distraction and said Queensland would experience a similar problem this week.

    “I know our situation last year going into game two without ‘Fergo’ it did create quite a distraction to start the camp,” he said.

    “You don’t want to talk about it or dwell on it, you just want to focus on football.

    "You don’t need these dramas.”

    No charges have yet been laid and Chambers will formally make his Origin debut this Wednesday night if Queensland police choose not to take action against the Maroons rookie.

    Myles said Maroons players are supporting Chambers but concedes the 26-year-old is facing the ultimate test of character if cleared to play at Suncorp Stadium.

    “I’ll throw it out there, this is another test for the man,” he said.

    “If it wasn’t enough getting ready for his first (Origin) game, now it’s a test of getting ready with another thing over him.

    “But Will is a great bloke and his footy has been doing enough to get him in the side.

    "I know he will be alright, he just has to train hard and play better on the night.

    “It’s not the first time we’ve had distractions in camp, as a team we need to keep doing what we are doing.

    “None of the boys have been affected by it, to be honest we haven’t even spoken about it.

    “We’ll see how it pans out but I think he’ll be fine.”

    Myles, who was sacked by the Roosters in 2011 for breaching an alcohol ban, said some NRL players have stopped going out to avoid being a public target.

    “I know a lot of blokes who are already on that bandwagon, they just play it safe and cross out the uncontrollables and do it that way,” he said.

    “To their credit it works a bit better for them.

    “There’s no excuses in this ... but for sure, there’s no doubt that sometimes people as an incentive will target someone (an NRL player).

    “There is so much of a view and criticism of footy players and how they should act, but it goes both ways, there are people out there who can be as silly as footballers.

    “Footy players aren’t the only ones who can act silly.

    "It goes both ways and unfortunately it happens and you have to be careful with it.”


    - - - Updated - - -

    State of Origin: Laurie Daley wished he could share his Origin triumph with his late father Lance

    • JULY 04, 2014 12:00AM

    HE was watching from above, probably having a cold beer.

    The man Laurie Daley wanted to celebrate with after NSW’s Origin II triumph was sadly missing.

    Amid the euphoria and raw emotion, Daley still nursed a heavy heart. These are the moments you want to share with your dad.

    Lance Daley left us four years ago — but has never left Laurie’s heart.

    Laurie calls Lance his “best friend”.

    With every success, Laurie thinks of his dad.

    And no doubt Lance was there, in spirit, with his son right through NSW’s success.

    Daley opened up about Lance — who lost a long battle with cancer in April, 2010 — in an emotional interview with The Daily Telegraph.

    “I think about Dad every day,” Daley said.

    “Every time something significant happens in your life you always think about them more, I suppose.

    "You wish they could be there to share that moment.

    ‘‘I know Dad would be proud ... It’s hard talking about him because it always brings back emotions.

    “You just try and remember the good times. He would be rapt.

    “Dad was a great inspiration for myself and our family.

    "He was a guy who worked really hard and who instilled good values in us. He has been there with me through this series.

    "You always think they are there supporting you and I’m sure he would be.

    “Dad loved his footy and I’m sure he’d have been as happy as anyone to see us enjoy the occasion last Wednesday.

    "He would’ve been proud.”

    Lance was a train driver who raised eight children — seven daughters and one son.

    He loved his footy, loved his home town of Junee, loved a beer.

    He was as Aussie as you could possibly get.

    “Dad loved going to the footy,’’ Daley said.

    “He loved the Raiders boys and the rep players he got to know.

    "He used to enjoy their company as well.

    “He worked really hard and loved his family.”Laurie’s honesty, courtesy and principles come from Lance and his mum, Frances, who lives in Canberra.

    “He and Mum played a significant role in my upbringing and to make me the person I am,” Daley said.

    “I’ve taken a lot of their traits, and I’m glad I have.

    "They’re wonderful people and I feel very proud they’re my parents.

    “They did a terrific job raising eight kids. We didn’t miss out on too much.

    "We didn’t have a lot, we didn’t have a lot of money, but we had a lot of love in the family.

    “That was the important thing.”

    Lance was loved and respected in Junee. He would cross the street just to say hello.

    “He was just a really good fella,” Daley said.

    “He talked to anyone, loved a beer, loved a smoke, a real Aussie, typical knockabout bloke.

    “Dad played guitar in a band in his youth.

    "Later on he used to get the guitar out and start strumming away.

    “It was always good at the family parties.

    "He loved his family, loved his mates and worked hard.”

    Daley is still extremely close to his mum, who was at ANZ Stadium for Origin II.

    “Mum gets a bit emotional,” he said.

    “She doesn’t get to many footy games but she still loves it.

    “My whole family has always been supportive of me and I will always support them.

    "I will always be there to look after them.”

  4. rhugh89

    rhugh89 Danny 'Bedsy' Buderus Staff Member Admin

    Aug 12, 2012
  5. rhugh89

    rhugh89 Danny 'Bedsy' Buderus Staff Member Admin

    Aug 12, 2012
    Private security helped ensure NSW’s Origin series has played out without any drama

    • JULY 05, 2014 12:00AM

    He’s there when the Blues wake.

    He’s there when they train, eat and, just to be sure, he’s even there to make sure the pride of NSW get safely to bed.

    Meet the personal security guard the NSW Rugby League has employed to protect $10 million worth of talent.

    Koniseti Liutai — or just plain Koni to the players — has watched over the Blues through every step of their successful arrest of the State of Origin shield.

    All played out without a single drama.Queensland can only wish now they had employed similar measures to protect centre Will Chambers from an altercation with a member of the public early on Wednesday.

    The NSWRL took the unprecedented step of employing private security this year and, according to chief executive David Trodden, the decision has been an overwhelming success.

    “When we started reviewing our Origin preparations in November last year, the overall philosophy was one of making the whole operation far more professional,’’ he said.

    “We’re just doing what we think is absolutely proper.

    "That’s what a professional organisation does.

    “The concept has been a great success, number one, but Koni personally has been an outstanding success as well.

    “He has been able to bring to that role the sort of demeanour which has allowed him to be liked and respected by those who he has been dealing with.

    “The players, particularly, have a real affection for him.

    "He has become a part of our whole group.’’

    The Tongan-born father of eight, employed by security firm E-Group, is responsible for ensuring the players’ safety and a controlled environment for which they can socialise in and around their Coffs Harbour hotel and out in public.

    He takes his job seriously.

    Last Thursday night he was seen patrolling the outside of a restaurant as the entire playing group and coaching staff enjoyed dinner inside.

    “It might look like the best job in the world, watching the boys train every day,’’ Liutai said.

    “But if I don’t do my job properly, there’s a risk the entire team won’t be able to do their job properly.

    “I was as happy as anyone when they won.

    "I’m just happy that everything has run smoothly.’’


    - - - Updated - - -

    State of Origin: Jacob Lillyman urges NRL to take Origin to New Zealand

    • JULY 05, 2014 12:00AM

    MAROONS prop Jacob Lillyman has urged the NRL to explore new frontiers by staging a State of Origin game in New Zealand.

    Auckland hosted the inaugural NRL Nines tournament in February, generating an estimated $2 million profit as 90,000 fans flocked to Eden Park for the two-day event.

    Lillyman believes the NRL’s showpiece event is ready to go across the ditch in rugby league'’ attempt to win over the rugby-mad Kiwi public.

    If any elite player can appraise New Zealand’s ability to host an Origin game, it is Lillyman.

    The 30-year-old has spent the past five years at the Warriors and believes an Origin game in New Zealand would stop the nation.

    “It would be unreal,’’ Lillyman said in the countdown to Origin III.

    “They talk about wanting to see it happen and I can’t endorse it highly enough.

    "It would be massive, it would sellout in a click of the fingers.

    “They have a great venue over there in Eden Park that they could hold it at.

    "State of Origin is so big and it would be a huge thing for rugby league in New Zealand if they took an Origin across there.’’

    The New Zealand Rugby League has previously expressed interest in hosting an Origin game but costs were prohibitive.

    The interstate battle has gone offshore only once, with NSW and Queensland playing an unofficial fourth game at Long Beach in California in 1987.

    Melbourne has hosted Origin five times and the event will return to the MCG for the fourth time next season.

    Lillyman said the Auckland public’s reaction to the NRL Nines was evidence of the demand for elite rugby league events in New Zealand.

    “The support is there,’’ he said.

    “Rugby league (and the Warriors) are really doing good things over there and it surprises me how big Origin is in New Zealand.

    “The expectation (of being a Warriors player) is pretty big.

    "Being a one-team country, when things aren’t going too well there is a lot of scrutiny and they turn on you pretty quick, especially in the media.

    “Even in the time I’ve been there, the profile of rugby league has gone up a few levels.’’


    - - - Updated - - -

    Kent on Saturday: Boyd Cordner and James McManus should be NSW’s motivation for game 3

    • JULY 05, 2014 12:00AM

    THERE is always something beyond the score to play for in the dead rubber, The trick is finding it.

    Boyd Cordner and James McManus should be NSW’s motivation this week.

    The Blues have the chance to give these two players something they have yet to experience.

    That winning feeling. Their own small chapter.

    Otherwise, the pair are in danger of becoming a footnote.

    Part of a NSW team that broke Queensland’s eight year winning streak, without actually having won a game.

    Luke Lewis is largely regarded as the only current NSW player to have played in a winning series.

    Lewis played wing in 2004.

    Few realise that Anthony Watmough, a wounded hero in the opening two games this year, was part of NSW’s 2005 series victory.

    Yet Watmough played in Game I and did not make it back for the wins in Games II and III.

    The Blues lost Game I 24-20.

    History is a hard marker sometimes.

    Steve Price played most of his career at Canterbury, a favoured son, and broke his own heart and that of the club when he left Canterbury for the Warriors in 2005.

    Price’s last wish was to lead the Dogs to a premiership, which he was on track to do as the Dogs bullied their way through the 2004 finals series.

    Then he got hurt, ruled out of the grand final.

    So he was part of Canterbury’s premiership side, but he wasn’t too.

    Such is the bond between these NSW players, quickly developed, that they will be sure of the situation facing Cordner and McManus.

    Plenty of Origin players before them, the likes of Brett Kimmorley (2005) Trent Barrett (2005), Brett Finch (2004), have played just the losing game in a winning series.

    The Blues don’t want these two players to join them.

    They don’t want them off to the side, as the players look past the emptiness of a Game III loss to reflect on a series win, and be left with nothing but a loss for their efforts.

    They need their moment, too.

    It’s not like there aren’t other motivations, either.

    Queensland has decided it will make Game III the chance to honour its recent past.

    Every player from the eight year streak is invited to Suncorp Stadium on Wednesday.

    A special presentation will take place and at half-time the players will form a guard of honour as the Maroons retake the field.

    For those in late, this is the game where NSW will be presented the shield for finally claiming its first series in eight years.

    It couldn’t happen after they snatched the series after Game II because protocol dictates the shield is always presented after Game III.

    Not content with losing the series, the Maroons are hijacking NSW’s moment.

    They are unapologetic, claiming it’s a remarkable achievement that needs to be celebrated.

    And of course it does, but why choose this night?

    Why couldn’t it be done at a ceremony any other time?

    If nothing else, it gives the players involved in Wednesday’s game to also be recognised for their part, which they will miss on Wednesday because they are playing.

    It’s either a selfish reason from the Queensland Rugby League, an organisation which has never really cared for what NSW think, or a braindead one from the NRL, which should be in charge of the night.

    The Blues have refused to even consider the wrong being done by them, focusing on winning the game instead of what could be an unnecessary distraction.

    There are plenty of reasons to win on Wednesday night, even though the series is already claimed.

    Most of all, Daley knows the psychology of winning, and that more is attached to Wednesday’s result if it is a series sweep.

    Winning on Wednesday makes next year’s job just that little bit easier.

    If Queensland win Game III, they can look back at a bad call here, a dropped ball there, and argue that with a little luck it could have been 2-1 to the Maroons and they would be looking now at 10-straight.

    It’s not hard to do, NSW has been doing it for years.

    But a third victory for NSW asks bigger questions.

    Is this finally the end for some of those old stagers, are some of those young kids coming in the right choice, does he have the mix right?

    Are the Blues just too good and, if so, how does he get that edge back?

    The Blues go into next year’s series with Game III to be played in Queensland and the first two in Sydney and Melbourne.

    Win on Wednesday, and they will be comfortable they have what it takes should it go to Suncorp for the decider.

    It’s all there, all at stake.

    Most of all, they just don’t like Queensland or Queenslanders, as good a reason as any.

  6. rhugh89

    rhugh89 Danny 'Bedsy' Buderus Staff Member Admin

    Aug 12, 2012
    State of Origin: NSW Blues dog acts have Queensland Maroons seeing red

    • JULY 05, 2014 12:00AM

    New South Wales grubby tactics.

    SIX nasty incidents will cause Origin III to erupt.

    They are the cheap shots that prove New South Wales had to become grubs to break Queensland’s Origin streak.

    Not surprisingly, Blues captain Paul Gallen has been the major culprit.

    After Beau Scott’s mission to hit Queensland players off the ball in Game One, the Blues' sank to the bottom of the barrel in Game Two and tensions are likely to boil over on Wednesday night.

    The last dead rubber game at Suncorp Stadium was 2009’s fight night, when Steve Price was knocked out by Brett White as he was tackled by Trent Waterhouse.It was violent, even for Origin.

    Late in the game, Darren Lockyer kicked on the first tackle for one more chance to smash the Blues and the ensuing melee saw Ben Creagh run away from Justin Hodges.

    Queensland players this week admitted they were close to breaking the no-punch rule after the Blues’ repeated cheap shots in Origin II.Knees, elbows, punches and forearms to Maroons players in tackles, often when they were not looking, were all used to unsettle Queensland.

    All the incidents went unpunished by the referees and it is understood Shayne Hayne's inability to control the aggression was part of the reason he was dropped.

    Anthony Watmough tackle on Nate Myles was put on report.

    The worst moments were:

    ■ In the second minute, Gallen targeted Matt Scott with a knee to the back of his head which left Scott fuming.

    ■ Gallen hit Daly Cherry-Evans and Billy Slater with forearms to their jaws.

    ■ Josh Reynolds tried to punch Matt Gillett as he was being tackled but only his elbow connected.

    That was the incident that prompted Johnathan Thurston to push his forearm into Reynolds’ face.

    ■ James Tamou collected Nate Myles with a forearm while Michael Jennings punched Cherry-Evans during a tackle.

    The Blues’ grubby tactics were designed to provoke punches from Queensland players who would then be sin binned.Queensland players say the Blues did not win because of their grubby play in the ruck and to a man agree the best team has won the series.

    But they are sick of being hit when they are not looking. Sam Thaiday, who played in the 2009 epic, said tension between the two teams was at boiling point.

    “I’m sure there’s going to be a lot of feeling, a lot of tension and aggression in this third game,’’ Thaiday told The Courier-Mail.

    “There isn’t such a thing as a dead rubber any more.

    "There is still a lot of feeling here and we want to back some pride.

    “It’s a game we are all looking forward to.’’

    Thaiday’s Broncos teammate Corey Parker said tempers were bound to fly in Game Three.

    “Origin games are played on so much passion and commitment there is going to be a few niggles and a few tempers,’’ he said.“

    It's not like you go out there with a preconceived idea of what's going to happen, the old Cattledog so to speak.“

    Everyone is professional enough to know we’ve got a job to do. We’re footballers, we’re not boxers.’’

    Thaiday said he felt a fight was close to breaking out in Origin II and the Maroons had to remind themselves not to throw a punch.

    “It was very close to tipping point a lot of times.

    "We had to try and control ourselves from letting that explode,’’ he said.


    - - - Updated - - -

    Tamou laughs off Blues 'dogs' tag

    By Chris Kennedy, National Correspondent
    2:36pm Sat 05th July, 2014

    New South Wales prop James Tamou has a message for Queensland media labelling the Blues side as "dogs" – you lot started it.

    Asked about a Courier Mail story that lists instances of Blues players niggling their opponents in their series-deciding Origin II win, and ignores Maroons players equally long list of indiscretions, Tamou said Blues players had simply started pushing back against what Queensland had started.

    "I have seen a lot of videos in the past and footage where I can point out a number of Queensland players have done something here or there to myself or other New South Welshman," said Tamou, who was more than happy to have a shot at his Cowboys teammate Johnathan Thurston.

    "We saw in game two when Thurston – it was one of the first punches thrown in a niggly way with Thurston slapping Beau Scott in the face.

    "Small things like that started off and I think this year we are only starting to push back.

    "I guess that’s why we have taken the series there."

    He said the Queensland players had been trying to rile the Blues up enough for one of them to throw a punch and get sent to the sin-bin – and it nearly worked.

    "They will really push the point where one of our guys will clench the fist and want to throw one.

    "That’s how they get under our skin. It’s up to us to restrain ourselves and do our job.

    "I’ve had to restrain myself a whole heap.

    "It’s not just myself, the boys that the Queenslanders get under.

    "I see it in their eyes. As a teammate it’s up to me to back them up."

    He said the evidence was there for everyone to see.

    "I think the whole public saw the way they were acting.

    "They were trying to go to that boiling point to make us look like the bad guys.

    "They are definitely that type of team that if they were losing the game, they would try and get under the skin to the point of making us to try and throw a punch."

    He said the new rules outlawing punches being thrown had increased the amount of niggle in the game – especially from the smaller players who are no longer worried about having to square off against the big men.

    "The little guys are the worst. They get under your skin the most.

    "Then they run around and hide behind the big fellas.

    "Without throwing a punch it’s come out and done it more in the open eye," Tamou said.

    "Thurston for example, his normal characteristic in club footy, he is never normally like that. It’s what Origin brings."

    He said it was good to see Blues five-eighth Josh Reynolds getting the Queenslanders' skin – with the added bonus of the scoreboard pressure frustrating the Maroons.

    "That's where most of it came from, the scoreboard," he said.

    "Being in the sky blue jumper it was good to see Josh sort of give it to him in that sense. Giving it to each other.

    "But I've never seen him like that in the Cowboys jumper."

    Asked why he had been to ready to get stuck into his Cowboys teammate for the media, Tamou just laughed:

    "Yeah, I can't wait until Mad Monday I'll tell you that much!"


  7. rhugh89

    rhugh89 Danny 'Bedsy' Buderus Staff Member Admin

    Aug 12, 2012
  8. rhugh89

    rhugh89 Danny 'Bedsy' Buderus Staff Member Admin

    Aug 12, 2012
    State of Origin: Boyd Cordner a future NSW champion and captain, says Johnny Lewis

    • JULY 07, 2014 12:00AM

    JOHNNY Lewis, one of the most respected figures in the history of Australian sport, believes NSW forward Boyd Cordner is a future champion and NSW captain.

    If anyone has the right to an opinion, it’s Lewis.

    A Hall of Fame boxing trainer, who has worked with six world champions including Jeff Fenech and Kostya Tszyu, Lewis has also trained some of rugby league’s greatest names during the peak of their careers.

    Among them are Laurie Daley, Mal Meninga, Ricky Stuart, Bradley Clyde and Glenn Lazarus.

    Invited by Sydney Roosters coach Trent Robinson to conduct regular boxing sessions over the past two seasons, Lewis has taken a shine to the work ethic and attitude of Cordner, who has won an NRL premiership and World Cup at the tender age of 22.

    “He’s what they’re looking for in the future,’’ Lewis said.

    “As long as he keeps on improving I think he’ll be a real genuine superstar in the making.

    “I see another Bradley Clyde in Boyd. They don’t talk about Brad in the right vein.

    "He was an unbelievable backrower and I think Boyd has got a lot of qualities that Bradley had.

    “They’re very similar people. Boyd’s work rate is right up there.

    "Like Bradley he likes the ball in his hands and like Bradley he loves to do four tackles in a set of six.’’

    Cordner returns to the Blues squad for Wednesday night’s Origin III after being unavailable because of ankle surgery in round 10.

    The hard-running edge backrower will be a valuable addition to a Blues side without suspended Anthony Watmough.

    And it’s Cordner’s professionalism and sacrifice while having intensive rehabilitation and physiotherapy that makes Lewis believe the young Blues star is destined for greatness.

    “He’s a very young kid, but he’s very professional,’’ Lewis said.

    “That’s why he’s part of this team today.

    “He works hard on his injuries, he makes the sacrifices and he prepares his body really well.

    "Plus, he’s got a lot of skill.

    “It’s hard to believe he’s 22.

    "He’s in the right hands to achieve that (NSW captaincy).

    “He’s at the forefront of what’s coming through. He’s a big part of it.’’

    Cordner appreciates the confidence in his ability of Lewis and other good judges.

    “It’s a bit humbling to be mentioned like that, but I’m not looking too far into the future and worrying about doing my job now, which is probably the most important thing,’’ he said.

    Cordner and NSW teammates Daniel Tupou, Aaron Woods, Trent Hodkinson and Josh Reynolds represent the Blues’ generation next.

    And Cordner said the platform laid by Origin veterans Paul Gallen, Greg Bird, Luke Lewis, Anthony Watmough and Jarryd Hayne has provided the Blues with an opportunity to achieve the long-term success Queensland have had.

    “They’ve set a good foundation, winning the first two games, and there wouldn’t be anything better than watching Gal raise the shield after another win,’’ Cordner said.

    “They’ve been great role models. They are players that everyone looks up to.”


    - - - Updated - - -

    State of Origin: NSW Blues have ‘dinted’ Maroon culture, says coach Mal Meninga

    • JULY 07, 2014 12:00AM

    MAL Meninga says NSW have left a “dint” in Queensland’s culture and will take a calculated gamble by revamping the Maroons’ attack to avert a 3-0 rout in Origin III.

    Wary of NSW’s confident revival, Meninga has put his squad on notice, saying the Maroons have a chink in their armour after slumping to their first series loss in nine years.

    Not since the nightmare 2000 series have Queensland suffered a 3-0 rout and Meninga challenged his troops to uphold their cultural standards on Wednesday night.

    Origin’s most successful coach insists he has not lost faith in Queensland’s blueprint for success, but has warned NSW’s uprising is testing the Maroons’ character.

    “At some stage we were going to be under the pump,” Meninga said.

    “I’ve tried to build a strong culture and that culture is still unbent – but there is a bit of a dint in it.

    “I still believe in it, the players still believe in it and I think we have the right processes and systems in place.

    “In the past we were able to handle setbacks, but NSW were playing a lot better than they were five or six years ago.

    “They are playing well at the moment, they were better than us in this series and that’s why it’s 2-0.

    "I’m confident we can keep forging ahead, but we haven’t handled that adversity this year when we’ve been confronted by it.”

    Meninga is referring primarily to the loss of Cooper Cronk, whose broken arm early in Origin I threw out Queensland’s structures in their 12-8 loss in Brisbane.

    The Maroons coach has been equally disturbed by his team’s poor execution, with Queensland having scored two tries in 160 minutes of Origin action.

    Eager to kickstart the Maroons’ attack, Meninga wants more enterprise on Wednesday.

    Halves Johnathan Thurston and Cronk have been instructed to play deeper to give outside backs such as Greg Inglis more latitude to move.

    Meninga also wants more bodies in motion to confuse the NSW defence and hopes the Maroons’ pack lifts to give their halves the space to create.

    “We’ve talked about that,” Meninga said of Queensland’s attacking shape.

    “We need more numbers around those guys (the halves), we need to make sure they are protected.

    “There’s no doubt NSW have a plan to get up in our faces, we need to play a bit deeper and wider.

    “We have been executing that way at training so we’ll see if it works for us.”

    Maroons enforcer Sam Thaiday says Origin III is a chance to prove the team Meninga built is not a spent force.

    “It is very new territory for a lot of us,” he said.

    “We still have visions to win more series.

    ‘‘The streak is over but this team and what we have built is nowhere near dead.”

  9. rhugh89

    rhugh89 Danny 'Bedsy' Buderus Staff Member Admin

    Aug 12, 2012
    State of Origin: QLD coach Mal Meninga refuses to complete media duties, sends Cam Smith

    • AAP
    • JULY 07, 2014 11:11AM

    QUEENSLAND coach Mal Meninga has raised eyebrows by opting not to front the media ahead of Wednesday night’s State of Origin game three at Suncorp Stadium.

    In a move that is set to draw more criticism from rivals NSW, the Maroons confirmed captain Cameron Smith - not Meninga - would attend the pre-game press conference on Tuesday.

    Smith was expected to talk on Monday with Meninga holding his traditional match eve media event on Tuesday.

    However, Queensland cancelled all media commitments on Monday ensuring Meninga will be a no show ahead of a game the Maroons must win to avoid their first whitewash since 2000.

    Meninga has endured a tumultuous Origin III build-up after rookie winger Will Chambers became embroiled in an assault allegation.

    Chambers was later cleared of any wrongdoing and police dropped the investigation.

    The Maroons camp was less than impressed by NSW forward Greg Bird claiming Meninga had egg on his face over the Chambers incident after his pre-Origin I comments in relation to then NSW halfback Mitchell Pearce.

    Pearce was overlooked by Blues coach Laurie Daley after he was arrested during a night out in Sydney’s Kings Cross, prompting Meninga to criticise the Sydney Roosters star and claim Queensland had a superior culture to the Blues.

    Meninga was initially under pressure to drop Chambers due to his Pearce comment.

    Meninga opted not to front the media as Queensland prepared to play for pride in game three after their eight year dynasty was snapped by NSW’s series sealing 6-4 Origin II win in Sydney.

  10. rhugh89

    rhugh89 Danny 'Bedsy' Buderus Staff Member Admin

    Aug 12, 2012
    Daley disappointed Origin III not a sell-out

    By Ian McCullough
    12:05pm Mon 07th July, 2014

    NSW coach Laurie Daley has expressed surprise and disappointment that
    Wednesday's third State of Origin clash is not a sell out.

    It was left to Daley on Monday to urge Queensland fans to show their support for the Maroons as they seek to avoid a series clean sweep by his Blues, with some 6000 tickets still unsold for the Suncorp Stadium encounter.

    In a move that raised plenty of eyebrows in Brisbane, Queensland cancelled their usual media opportunity on Monday, with coach Mal Meninga apparently putting his business commitments ahead of publicising the game.

    "It's quite disappointing that it's not a sell out," Daley said.

    "Every Origin game is unique and this one will be no different.

    "It's always tough coming up here and it would good for them (Queensland fans) to let (the Maroons) know that regardless that they've lost this series we're still behind you and supporting you.

    "I'm sure their team would expect for that support base to be there."

    Monday is traditionally the Queensland team's day off, but both the NSW and Maroons captains usually speak with the media while the two coaches do press conferences on match eve.

    However, at the request of the NRL the arrangement has been changed with Blues skipper Paul Gallen and Queensland captain Cameron Smith asked to talk to the media on Tuesday.

    Daley switched to do his media conference on Monday but it seems Meninga, who deals with his business on Mondays, won't be speaking again before the match.


  11. rhugh89

    rhugh89 Danny 'Bedsy' Buderus Staff Member Admin

    Aug 12, 2012
    Just a reminder to all those members participating in the vBookie Tournament

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  12. rhugh89

    rhugh89 Danny 'Bedsy' Buderus Staff Member Admin

    Aug 12, 2012
    State of Origin: Laurie Daley Q&A, coaching NSW Blues his labour of love

    • JULY 08, 2014 12:00AM

    LAURIE Daley has conceded for the first time he wants to coach NSW long-term.

    Daley, the coach who guided NSW to history this year, had not previously discussed his future but told The Daily Telegraph he wanted to remain in Origin for as long as possible.

    And there is no doubt the NSWRL want Daley, who comes off contract after next year’s series.

    Daley’s interest in an NRL post is minimal, at best.

    He could well become another Mal Meninga, who had led Queensland for nine successive years.

    With no club commitments and no immediate desire to coach at NRL level, Daley is certain to take NSW into the next generation.

    In this exclusive sit-down interview, Daley discusses a range of pertinent issues.


    Do you want this NSW job long-term?


    That’s for others to decide but, yes, I would like to be apart of it.

    I’d love to stay involved. That’s a decision for (NSWRL CEO) Dave Trodden and the board.

    They have been very supportive of me over the past two years. If they think I am doing a reasonable job, yeah, I’d like to stay.


    I am sure they want you Laurie.


    It’s a great job, We all love State of Origin and we all want to be apart of it.

    We are the lucky ones at the moment. Of course you would want to be involved as long as you possibly can.

    These are the games that you live for.


    They extended your deal for 2015 earlier this year. They have confidence in you.


    Look, I am focused on this game and then next year.

    Yes I would like to do it a lot longer. If people think we are heading in the right direction, then that’s a decision for them.

    They didn’t have to extend my contract at the start of this year, But they supported me 100 percent and that really helped.


    Have you thought about coaching in the NRL?


    I haven’t even thought about it.


    Surely it must have crossed your mind Laurie?


    I honestly can say I haven’t thought about it given where I am at the moment.

    When I first moved out of football I thought about it. Not at the moment though and I don’t intend to at this stage.

    I’ve got this game to get through and then next year and we will see what happens after that.


    Has coaching Origin taken a toll on you?


    Last year I was buggered and after this year I will need a rest as well.

    Coaching Origin is full of pressure and constant speculation.

    This year is certainly different to last year. Last year took a toll on me.

    It is mentally draining, you feel the weight of expectation, you know you are in charge and you have to deliver and do the right thing.

    Everyone feels it, But it’s better being in this position than the one we were in last year.


    Is that pressure suffocating?


    Yeah, it’s hard not to feel it. That’s what I tell the players.

    Try and relax when they are out of the football zone and stay as calm and relaxed as possible.

    But when you come to footy, you switch on, And that’s what I have tried to do with coaching.

    But it is difficult because you are always worrying and planning about what you have to do next.


    Was the win in Sydney as good as your famous grand final win for Canberra over Balmain in 1989?


    It was up there mate. It felt like 89, it felt like winning a grand final.

    Different in terms of club and Origin. The ANZ Stadium game felt like the whole state was behind the team.

    You probably enjoy it a lot more when you are older.

    When you are younger, you don’t really appreciate the fact you have won such a big thing.

    It’s when you get older you realise they are hard to come by.

    It just felt the momentum got bigger and bigger after game one leading into game two.

    There was a real good vibe around the team.


    People say you changed for this series and were more hardened. Did you?


    We decided we wanted to be a different footy team to the one we were last year.

    We put a lot of things in place and bought some new people in.

    Everyone had a responsibility to do their role the best that they can.


    You have a loving family Wife Michelle and three kids, Jaimee, Caitlin and Will.

    How supportive have they been?


    They always give great support. Everyone in my family does.

    They have been amazing. They are all so happy for me.


    That moment after Origin II when you and Paul Gallen embraced into the middle of ANZ Stadium.

    Folklore stuff.


    Most definitely, You know what he has been through, the tough times he has had at Origin.


    Were you in tears?


    I don’t think I was crying but I was certainly emotional, I got caught up with the excitement and euphoria.

    I was just so happy for all the boys who had been through a lot, especially the older ones.


    What do you think about some of the cheap shots in Queensland’s media?


    I understand that at this time of year everyone takes sides.

    They support their team as we do ours, That’s the great thing about State of Origin.

    The battle lines are drawn and you get behind your state.

  13. rhugh89

    rhugh89 Danny 'Bedsy' Buderus Staff Member Admin

    Aug 12, 2012
    State of Origin: Jarryd Hayne is better than Johnathan Thurston, says James Tamou

    • JULY 08, 2014 12:00AM

    NSW and Australian forward James Tamou has extended Jarryd Hayne the ultimate compliment, declaring the Blues fullback a superior player to Queensland great and two-time Dally M winner Johnathan Thurston.

    Thurston has long been regarded as one of the most influential players in the game, with the 2011 Golden Boot winner dominating the State of Origin arena over the past eight years, underlined by his record of scoring the most points in Origin history.

    But in a claim that has the potential to ignite Wednesday night’s Origin III in Brisbane, Tamou believes Hayne’s influence is now greater than that of his North Queensland teammate.

    “I think it’s definitely better,’’ Tamou said, when asked if Hayne was a more influential player than Thurston.

    “He’s just one of those talents that’s just unreal, the way he just plays the game, he single-handedly picked them off in the first game, I haven’t seen that performance from any of their players in a while, in the last few years.

    “He’s just that good and we need him at his best and at 100 per cent on Wednesday night.’’

    While Thurston attempts to shrug off a knee niggle suffered at training on Sunday, Hayne will run out tomorrow night for the 20th occasion - moving alongside Steve Menzies and Paul Harragon who also played 20 Origins for NSW - with vivid memories of his masterclass atthe same ground in Origin I.

    Tamou said he had never seen a more devastating performance than Hayne’s man of the match display in game one, while also adding that over the past week, the NSW fullback had appeared with a heightened focus and intensity.

    “At such a high level of intensity and such a high level game, no I haven’t (seen a better performance),’’ Tamou said.

    “I was just really impressed.

    “I knew how good he was but not that good. I think a lot of people watching the game realised how good he was.

    “Obviously Parra players knew of that ability but when he was playing at Parra and outside looking in you have no idea until he goes in to that spotlight of Origin and plays like that.’’

    NSW halfback Trent Hodkinson echoed Tamou’s sentiments.

    Having played with two quality fullbacks in Manly’s Brett Stewart and former Canterbury No.1 Ben Barba, Hodkinson found it hard to argue that Hayne was now the best fullback in the game.

    “Hayne is unbelievable,’’ Hodkinson said.

    “He creates something out of nothing. In game one he was our best player.

    “I know he’ll be raring to go in game three.

    "I played a lot of junior football with him so I’m used to seeing it. He is a freak.

    “He’d be close to being the best.’’

    Fellow NSW and Bulldogs halves partner Josh Reynolds put it simply:

    “He’s (Hayne) a superstar, that’s the best way to explain it.

    “He’s a silky smooth, classy bloke.

    “He’s very laid back which is good for someone like me.

    “He knows what’s going on, he knows the game.

    “I didn’t really know him before this camp, but he is a great guy.’’


    - - - Updated - - -

    State of Origin: Queensland where the bloody hell are ya?

    • JULY 08, 2014 12:00AM

    QUEENSLAND passion — there one year, gone the next.

    In a major embarrassment for the Maroons, more than 6000 tickets remain unsold for Wednesday night’s third State of Origin game at Suncorp Stadium.

    By kick-off, at least 4000 seats will remain empty.

    This from a state that has the audacity to question NSW’s commitment and passion to State of Origin.

    Just six weeks ago, Maroons legend Wally Lewis ranted: “I don’t think NSW ever did get Origin.”

    What a joke.

    Even Queensland coach Mal Meninga refused to promote the game on Monday, abandoning a traditional pre-game press conference.

    It has been duly noted by the NRL.NSW now leads the series 2-0 and enjoyed an 84,000 sellout for Origin II at ANZ Stadium.

    The QRL even contacted Brisbane media outlets begging for publicity.

    On Monday, NSW coach Laurie Daley fronted the media to promote the Brisbane game.

    He didn’t have to — Monday was a day off for NSW.It appears Queensland fans love winning but struggle to comprehend losing graciously.

    Since game two, 42 percent of all ticket sales have been purchased by NSW supporters.

    Such is the demand from NSW fans, the designated supporter area at Suncorp Stadium is four times the size required for Origin I.

    “It’s quite disappointing it’s not a sellout because every Origin game is unique and every Origin game is different,” Daley said.

    “This one will be no different. It is always a tough challenge coming here to win in Queensland.

    “The last eight years they have had the champion team and it (attending the game) is a good way to support them and to let them know, regardless of this year’s series, that they are still behind the team and are still supporting them.

    “That is what their team would expect, that support base to be there.”

    Asked was he aware Queensland didn’t promote the match yesterday, Daley said:

    “I’m not but we’re not concerned about what Queensland is doing. The focus has been on how we are preparing.

    “For us it’s about concentrating on ourselves. That is what we have done for the whole camp.”

    The NSW camp is aware Queensland fans will more than likely walk out before Blues skipper Paul Gallen can famously lift the shield.

    Not that the NSW squad care too much.“I can’t control whether anyone stays behind to watch us pick up the shield,” Daley said.

    “It will be a fantastic occasion for our boys when we do that. But our job is not done yet.

    “We want to play well for 80 minutes against this champion team and, to do that, we have given ourselves the best opportunity by the way we have prepared.

    “There are no excuses. As far as I can tell, the boys are ready. They have been nice and relaxed all well.

    “They want to finish the series on a positive. But Queensland will be hurting and will come out a million miles an hour.”

  14. rhugh89

    rhugh89 Danny 'Bedsy' Buderus Staff Member Admin

    Aug 12, 2012
    State of Origin: It’s the end of a dynasty for QLD but will game three also end rep careers?

    • JULY 08, 2014 1:05PM

    IT’S the end of an incredible dynasty for Queensland but will Wednesday night’s State of Origin III also be the swan song for the representative careers of some of the game’s greats?

    Players selected for either state rarely step aside before their NRL career is on its last legs these days — there’s too much prestige and too much cash involved in pulling on the boots for Origin.

    But its only natural that every year, at least to some degree, both the Blues and Maroons have to evolve.

    Queensland have had eight years largely free of scrutiny in this regard, but after finally handing over their crown, Mal Meninga will face his toughest questions between now and next year’s series.

    At least some of the answers may be found in moving on ageing champions for the sake of regeneration and a build towards another golden era.

    After tasting success, Laurie Daley for once won’t be harried by fans and journalists into making rash changes but that’s not to say a couple of tweaks here and there shouldn’t be considered.

    The Blues too have some weary veterans who at some stage will need to step aside for the next generation.

    To help the coaches out, here’s a look at the players who could be in the gun, and a quick assessment on whether Origin III, or the 2014 series, will be their last.


    Paul Gallen (32):

    The skipper will be 33 in next year’s series, so as funny as it sounds, a discussion around his position is less than ridiculous.

    Despite becoming more injury prone in recent seasons, Gallen is still one of the game’s best forwards and will hold onto his captaincy for one more year.

    Play in 2015? Yes

    Robbie Farah (31):

    The vice captain will be 32 next year but is playing some of the best footy of his career and has no obvious competitors for the No. 9 jersey.

    Play in 2015? Yes

    Beau Scott (30):

    The Newcastle hardman made a surprise return to the Blues side this year, and has played his role as a leader of the Blues’ defence perfectly.

    However he’ll be 31 next year, he’s a limited player in attack, and NSW is rich in backrow stocks, meaning his days are probably numbered.

    Play in 2015? No

    Ryan Hoffman (30):

    The choice of many for man of the match in game two has been a pivotal member of the NSW side since returning to the NRL and it would be a brave man to tap him on the shoulder after finally playing in a team to lift the shield.

    However the emergence of Boyd Cordner, Josh Jackson and Tyrone Peachey must put his future in some doubt.

    Play in 2015? Maybe

    Anthony Watmough (30):

    No one would question Choc’s toughness but the stress Watmough has put his body under by playing with serious injuries the last couple of years has to take its toll.

    Watmough will miss game three through suspension, so sadly his last act in the Origin arena might be in a suit and tie, rather than a bloodied jersey.

    Play in 2015: No

    Luke Lewis (30):

    This man has overcome more adversity in the last 18 months than most others have to face in a lifetime, and he’s still one of the most valuable assets on a rugby league field.

    He is contracted to Cronulla for another two seasons after this one and he has stated his desire to play at the highest level throughout that time.

    Due to his versatility (the former Origin winger even played five minutes at prop in Origin II) it will be a very difficult decision to dump the Sharks veteran.

    Play in 2015: Yes

    James McManus (28):

    The Newcastle winger has been called up to play a role in game three after Will Hopoate was injured in Origin II, but with plenty of young NSW backline talent coming through, you get the feeling McManus is just marking time.

    Play in 2015? No


    Billy Slater (31):

    No one’s here to say Slater isn’t the best fullback in the game.

    As the questions have been raised this season the future Immortal’s come up with all the answers.

    But Greg Inglis has had a quiet series, and the Maroons have lost it.

    At some stage GI has to be transitioned to fullback and the likes of Will Chambers, Dane Gagai, Dale Copley and Anthony Milford have to get their shot to breathe new life into an ageing team.

    No matter when it happens it’s going to be a controversial decision but is there a better time to make a tough call than now?

    Play in 2015? Maybe

    Justin Hodges (32):

    The champion centre turns 33 before next year’s series and has so far had a season slightly below his usually impeccable standards.

    Assuming Slater is retained next year, and he probably will be, Hodges could be the backline domino to fall to make room for the exciting talent coming through.

    Play in 2015? No

    Brent Tate (32):

    Like Hodges, the battle weary Tate turns 33 before next year’s series, and he may well have retired from all football before we even get there.

    If he does decide to play on after suffering a serious knee injury in game two, Tate will be on the road to recovery from his third knee reconstruction.

    It seems implausible that he could return to rep football.

    Play in 2015? No

    Johnathan Thurston (31):

    The champion half has had a torrid time of it in this year’s series, topping the missed tackle count in the first two games.

    While Thurston has struggled in defence, he’s still the Maroons’ most menacing attacking weapon and is far from finished as a creative force.

    If a half is to have his rep career ended it will be Cronk not Thurston.

    Play in 2015? Yes

    Cooper Cronk (30):

    The most meticulous preparer in the NRL does everything in his power to keep his body cherry ripe, which is why he’s been able to return for Origin III so far ahead of schedule.

    While his mind and body are still willing, there’s genuine doubt that he’s Queensland’s best halfback now, let alone next year.

    Daly Cherry-Evans is too good a player to sit on the bench and at some stage he’s got to be given a full series in the No. 7 jersey to show what he can do.

    Play in 2015? Yes, but from the bench

    Cameron Smith (31):

    The Queensland skipper is only in this list due to his age, given his status as the best big game player in league, perhaps of all-time.

    Even a transitioning team needs the champion hooker to lead it.

    Play in 2015: Yes

    Corey Parker (32):

    One of the quiet achievers in the greatest team in Origin history,

    Parker will be 33 by the time next year’s series comes around.

    The rise of Aidan Guerra and Matt Gillett is likely to spell the end for the Broncos captain.

    Play in 2015: No

    Jacob Lillyman (30):

    The Warriors prop goes under the radar on the other side of the Tasman so it was a bit of a surprise to see him brought into the side ahead of young bull Josh McGuire and others.

    The lack of depth in the Maroons’ frontrow stocks will give him every chance of staying there.

    Play in 2015? Yes

    Dave Taylor (25):

    The Coaltrain has played seven Origin games without ever impressing and has now publicly stated he has a desire to switch codes and try his hand at rugby union.

    Whether or not he’s still in the NRL next season, Taylor’s cards might be marked “never to play again” if he doesn’t have an absolute stormer on Wednesday night.

    Play in 2015? No

    Ben Te’o (27):

    The South Sydney backrower is off contract at the end of this season and has admitted he still doesn’t know where he’s future lies after ruling out staying with the Rabbitohs.

    A move overseas seems likely with Te’o still disillusioned by his treatment since his reputation was dragged through the mud by unfounded assault allegations last year.

    Play in 2015? No

  15. rhugh89

    rhugh89 Danny 'Bedsy' Buderus Staff Member Admin

    Aug 12, 2012
    Just a reminder to all those members participating in the vBookie Tournament

    There is just over 24 hours left to bet on this game !!!

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  16. rhugh89

    rhugh89 Danny 'Bedsy' Buderus Staff Member Admin

    Aug 12, 2012
    State of Origin: ‘I want to see the tears in Queensland’s eyes,’ says Ben Elias

    • AAP
    • JULY 08, 2014 2:02PM

    THE man who literally bled for NSW — ex-skipper Ben Elias — has encouraged the Blues to maintain their niggling tactics, saying they should do what it takes to ensure a rare State of Origin whitewash.

    And Elias is so confident of NSW “doing the full job” on the Maroons in what he predicts will be an explosive game three on Wednesday night that he will attend the Suncorp Stadium clash so he can “personally see the tears in Queensland’s eyes”.

    Elias conjured one of Origin’s enduring images when he braved a head gash that required 10 stitches to step in for injured skipper Laurie Daley and lead the Blues to a 14-6 game one victory in 1992.

    A still bleeding Elias was captured by TV cameras being attended to by his mother Barbara after his man-of-the-match effort that set up NSW’s series win.

    So it’s no surprise that the ex-Blues rake has urged NSW to “do what we have to do” to seal a morale-boosting sweep over the former eight-time Origin champions.

    “Call it niggling, call it dirty, call it whatever you want,” Elias said, with NSW poised to seal their first whitewash in 14 years.

    “We will do what we have to do to win it 3-0.“Because we have a lot of ground to make up — 3-0 would be a nice start.”

    Queensland pivot Johnathan Thurston has braced himself for the worst in game three after tensions threatened to reach boiling point in the second game in Sydney.

    Thurston has been heavily targeted all series by NSW but appeared to feel the heat in game two, slapping Beau Scott across the face and almost coming to blows with Blues pivot Josh Reynolds.

    Elias predicted Thurston ain’t seen nothing yet.

    “One hundred per cent I expect it to be explosive,” he said.

    “Anyone who thinks it is going to be a walk in the park or a friendly are kidding themselves.

    “I know from the past that there is no such thing as a dead rubber in Origin.”

    Elias said he had never felt more “hollow” than when he raised the Origin trophy in 1990 after Queensland avoided a clean sweep by winning game three in Brisbane.

    But he was so confident that current Blues skipper Paul Gallen would avoid his fate that he booked an game three ticket.

    “I want to personally see the tears in the Queenslanders’ eyes,” laughed Elias, a veteran of 19 Origins from 1985-94.

    “I know they want to finish the job in front of Queensland’s own crowd.”

  17. rhugh89

    rhugh89 Danny 'Bedsy' Buderus Staff Member Admin

    Aug 12, 2012
    Wonder if we can get another celebration like this if NSW win game 3 :lol:

  18. rhugh89

    rhugh89 Danny 'Bedsy' Buderus Staff Member Admin

    Aug 12, 2012
    State of Origin: The NSW forward pack has emerged as the key to bringing down Queensland

    • JULY 08, 2014 7:30PM

    AARON Woods puts it best when he says: “Laurie Daley gives you a job to do … so easy, go do it.”

    While they may not boast Dally M winners, future Immortals or the next Australian face of Gatorade, the NSW forward pack has this year emerged as the undisputed key to bringing down a Queensland dynasty.

    According to analysis by Fox Sports Statistics, each Blues bopper has brought his own unique set of skills to the table and, under the instruction of coach Daley, executed perfectly.

    Some of them, of course, are obvious.

    Like skipper Paul Gallen churning through a staggering 369m already this series — more than any forward from either side of the Tweed.

    Elsewhere, Gallen also averages the most metres per game of any Origin forward (185), ahead of fellow NSW “Bash Brother” Greg Bird, who sits second with 135m.

    Yet the real success is in the detail.

    Like Ryan Hoffman forcing Queensland playmaker Daly Cherry-Evans to make 15 tackles on him this series — the most one player has been forced to tackle another.

    Or Beau Scott, the unsung hero of the Blues’ defensive wall, tackling that always elusive Queensland centre Greg Inglis eight times.

    To put this statistic in perspective, no other New South Welshman has got to GI as many times this series.

    Elsewhere, NSW hooker Robbie Farah has also put his fingerprints all over the Blues’ attack — his staggering 220 possessions ahead of even Queensland arch rival Cam Smith (194) and Johnathan Thurston (109).

    At 114kg, Woods is the biggest bopper in the Blues’ pack. And despite being overawed in his first Origin series last year, the hulking Wests Tiger has responded to make solid contributions in the time he spends on the field.

    After making 103m and 23 tackles in Origin I, Blues great and NSW staffer Steve Roach revealed the bookend had done so knowing his representative future was on the line.

    “That Suncorp Stadium clash, it was make or break for Woodsy’s entire Origin career,’’ Roach said.

    “So to go out there knowing that and perform the way he did, it was a special effort.

    “It takes a special player to not only realise where he went wrong but say ‘aah, OK, I get what this is about now ... let’s go’.”

    While there has been talk of a Gallen statue at ANZ Stadium, know too that in game two it was Hoffman who won Players’ Player following an effort that included 20 runs, 151m, three tackle busts and an offload.

    Thanks to his incessant battering of Cherry-Evans, it also meant his mere presence on the left fringes created a hole for Trent Hodkinson to score the match-winning try.

    All up this series, the NSW starting pack and bench have churned through 1521m.

    In comparison, the Maroons have made 1398m.

  19. rhugh89

    rhugh89 Danny 'Bedsy' Buderus Staff Member Admin

    Aug 12, 2012
    State of Origin: Queensland will celebrate loss with a poster

    • JULY 09, 2014 12:00AM

    QUEENSLANDERS, it must be said, are no strangers to dumb decisions.

    Think the Crushers, XXXX Gold and Dave Taylor falling out of bed.

    Or painting the side of your team bus with 2014 Origin winners — only to lose the bloody thing.

    But surely this one takes some beating.

    Despite having always been half a bubble off plumb, the Queenslanders will hit a new low when they mark their first Origin series loss in eight years with, err, a celebration poster.

    Yep, despite having been beaten like Dave Groh’s drum kit, our sister publication The Courier Mail has decided to release a poster headlined:

    Celebr8: State of Origin’s Greatest Team.And, at first, we thought it a great idea.

    Asked if the sports editor might want our best photographs of Jarryd Hayne, Paul Gallen and Robbie Farah from game two?

    Which is when our poor cousins from north of the Tweed explained how, no, the greatest team they spoke of was in fact the losing one.

    An outfit not just beaten, but now on the cusp of receiving a Blue Rinse.

    And so on Wednesday the Maroons will unveil the world’s worst sporting accompaniment outside Powerbalance wristbands. Or Caddyshack II.

    Offering up a poster that, apart from the whopping melon of Maroons coach Mal Meninga, showcases the eight front pages that have accompanied each series win.And you thought old game show hosts enjoyed living in the past.

    Incredibly, despite staring down a whitewash at Suncorp Stadium, the Bananabenders have also decided to use Wednesday’s match as a celebration of everything that is now ended.

    They will parade past players. Show highlights on the screen.

    You can even get Big Mal to sign that celebration poster.

    We reckon he will love that.


    - - - Updated - - -

    State of Origin: Skipper Paul Gallen says lifting the shield will be the highlight of his career

    • JULY 09, 2014 12:00AM

    HE has copped it from smug Queenslanders for eight long years. On Wednesday, Paul Gallen finally gets even.

    Gallen hasn’t commented publicly when repeatedly asked just how it would feel to finally hold aloft that precious State of Origin shield in front of the “two-headed” Brisbane crowd.

    Until now.Gallen couldn’t hold back any longer and spoke openly about what will be a career highlight.

    Asked by The Daily Telegraph how satisfying it would be given the stick he has copped in Brisbane, Gallen said: “I can’t wait to hold it up.

    “I couldn’t care less if there’s 55,000 people watching or five people here.

    “It’s going to be a great moment for myself but also for NSW, not only for this team but for every player and coach that has been involved over the last eight years.

    “We have played against this side that have been blessed with all these great players but on top of that they have been a great side as well.

    “To finally beat them is a real great moment for us in history and holding that trophy up will be something I always remember.

    “(Fans leaving Suncorp before the presentation) is understandable. It’s up to them what they do.

    "I’m certainly not going to be worried about who is here and who isn’t here.

    “I would like to see it packed out. That would be great.

    "I think both sides deserve this place (Suncorp) to be packed out. It’s a great stadium to play football when it’s packed.”

    No doubt Gallen will love rubbing it in when he finally throws the sought-after shield skywards at about 10.15pm.

    “It will be nice,” Gallen said.

    “I played up here a couple of weeks ago for Cronulla against the Broncos and they certainly let me know I was here as well.

    “Hopefully they won’t boo too loud and I will be able to thank and congratulate Queensland for what they have done and also thank our boys for what they have done.

    “To hold it up, it’s something I am really looking forward to. It will be a career highlight for myself.”

    Queensland skipper Cam Smith said he held the shield up in Sydney one year before a meagre crowd and wouldn’t be urging Maroons fans to hang around.

    “I’ve got three children, not 50,000 kids, so I can’t tell everyone what to do,” Smith said.

    “If people want to stay, they stay, if they want to go home, they go home.

    “I remember lifting the shield in Sydney and I can’t remember seeing a packed house there.

    "All I can control is myself and my footy team and I know we will be sticking around to watch him lift it up.”

    Gallen said the job was not quite done.

    “We have done what we wanted to do,” Gallen said.

    “We came here to win the series, we’ve won the series, and now our goal is to win 3-0.

    “Neither team will take a backward step. That’s just the way it is.”


    - - - Updated - - -

    State of Origin: Current Blues players dedicate series win to every player over the past eight years

    • JULY 09, 2014 12:00AM

    NATHAN Merritt, Glenn Stewart, Steve Simpson, Jamie Lyon, Justin Poore and even Todd Carney.

    Timana Tahu, Anthony Laffranchi, Tim Mannah, Craig Wing and even Blake Ferguson.

    Over eight long years, 87 past and present Blues have been chosen to wear the NSW jersey.

    Some have since retired, desperately trying to move on from the pain, while others continue to plug away in the NRL, albeit with an emptiness that has never been fulfilled.

    Until Wednesday night.

    Because according to the current crop of Blues, these are the 87 faces that will never be forgotten.

    For some, Origin was short-lived. 13 of those NSW players used during Queensland’s eight-year hold on Origin have appeared just once in the sky-blue jumper.

    As the Maroons held their foot over the throat of the Blues, the state of NSW kicked, flipped and even ate their own just to break the stranglehold.

    A success-starved state of NSW supporters demanded changes in the wake of one, two, three, four … eight straight series losses.

    And it’s not just the players who were exposed to the brutality of Origin politics with coaches, coaching staff members, selectors and even NSWRL chief executive Geoff Carr making way for new blood over the past eight years.

    When NSW skipper Paul Gallen raises the shield on Wednesday night, even the most ardent Blues fan would concede that in that rare moment of satisfaction, this current crop of history-makers will forget their brothers who have gone before them and that all that pent-up pain, frustration and public bashing endured over eight years of losing will be erased.

    Nothing could be further from reality, according to current NSW forward Trent Merrin.

    “Its been eight years and a lot goes into it,’’ Merrin told The Daily Telegraph.

    “It’s more than just the team that won it (game two) on the night.

    “It goes back to players like the Benny Creagh’s, the Glenn Stewart’s, the Brett Stewart’s — the players that have been there in the eight year period.

    “It’s something that we’ve all been working to try and achieve.

    "Once the final whistle went in game two, those faces come to your mind.

    “You know that you’re doing it for them.

    "You know that they’re watching it on TV with a big grin on their face because they did contribute to that success.

    “Even the older boys, like a Craig Young, come up and give you a pat on the back for the achievement.

    “They know how long its been and so it’s something really special.’’

    To a man, the NSW players feel like the job is not yet complete.

    The series has been won, but only after victory over Queensland on Wednesday will they feel comfortable enough to bundy off.

    Blues and Australian Test prop James Tamou said that while the public perception is that Wednesday’s clash is merely just a match — to the players it was 80-minutes to show that unlike the past, success for NSW will be lasting.

    “Queensland will come out firing,’’ Tamou said.

    “They want to get one up with the series being over, but it will important for us to put that exclamation point on the whole series, just to show there’s a wind of change.

    “We’ve got the players to do the job, we’ve shown that.

    “It’s a new start and it’s a change and its going to be a big change, the players that we’ve got and the belief that we’ve got — we haven’t had that belief for such a long time.

    “Now we’ve got it inside us and we’re happy to take it wherever it can go.’’

  20. rhugh89

    rhugh89 Danny 'Bedsy' Buderus Staff Member Admin

    Aug 12, 2012
    Just a reminder to all those members participating in the vBookie Tournament

    There is still 5 hours left to bet on this game !!!

    We have some huge odds and great chances to win massive money !!!!

    Do you think this will be a high scoring game ??

    Why not back either team to score 20 points or more @ a massive $10.00 !!!!

    Get your money on and win big !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    [​IMG] [​IMG][​IMG]

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