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Blues lack killer instinct to be great

Queensland players celebrate one of the million tries they seemed to score on Wednesday night. Photos: GETTY IMAGESWEDNESDAY night’s State Of Origin decider in Brisbane was over after five minutes.
Nanjing Night Net

Well at least that’s the way this one-eyed Maroons fan saw it from the comfort of his lounge, 12 months after having to cop nine years of NSW frustration as a Queensland fan living in Blues territory.

For all the talk of this moment, that moment, this piece of JT brilliance or that poor refereeing decision, the match was summed up in the fifth minute.

NSW, riding the momentum of a 26-18 win in Game 2 at the MCG, had parked on the Queensland line in the minutes following Justin Hodges’ early fumble.

When Aaron Woods milked a penalty right in front, a confident side would have looked to capitalise and score an early try to silence the big Suncorp Stadium crowd.

Instead the Blues elected to take two points, which were cancelled out just four minutes later when big Woodzilla was penalised for the same indiscretion he had earlier been the victim of.

Queensland fell victim to the same thing in Game Two. They had NSW at their mercy for a period in the second half but preferred a four-point lead to a two-point lead and ultimately got run down to lose by eight

About 70 minutes after Jonathon Thurston levelled Wednesday night’s scoreline at 2-2, NSW fans were feeling blue alright, but the kind of blue you normally get from some soppy country music ballad. Come to think of it, there was actually one of those called ‘Blue’ by Leann Rimes circa 1996, well before she tried to fight the moonlight or had her own reality TV show highlighting the fact she’s married.

The 52-6 scoreline was momentous for so many reasons. This was supposed to be the end of Queensland’s era of dominance. Instead it was their mightiest performance of the past decade.

The big, young, fast and ferocious Blues were supposed to steamroll and wear out their smaller, older and slower opposition. Yet they barely got their hands on the ball in order to do that.

Queensland’s stars were just that. Thurston was sublime, GI was a beast at the back, Cameron Smith was Cameron Smith (the ultimate professional,not the two-headed, heartless jerk 60 Minutes would have us believe), and Cooper Cronk chimed in and steered the ship as only he can do. (Note to selectors: No More DCE in the 7 jersey please).

Even the Maroons players that most had pegged as “second stringers” – the likes of Corey Parker, Jacob Lillyman, Will Chambers and Nate Myles – were better than the best player wearing blue on the paddock.

This photo is categoric proof that Mitchell Pearce was on the field for NSW on Wednesday night.

Both Morris twins were ineffective, Mitchell Pearce still hasn’t been sighted, Trent Hodkinson was fair but hardly a menace, and the big forward pack were subdued by their enthusiastic, and ultimately better opposition.

I would suggest perhaps Josh Dugan, Michael Jennings and Michael Ennis could put their hands up and say they had a red hot go.

That’s not to say things will remain this way though.

I wrote prior to Game One that I expected Queensland to win this series but that they wouldn’t be set up to enjoy another decade like the one we have just witnessed.

Hodges won’t be talked out of rep retirement, and the dad’s army of this year will have an extra few clicks on the odometer by the timenext year’s series rolls around.

They won’t become bad players because of that but the stark reality is that nothing lasts forever, as much as I would love it to

NSW outplayed Queensland in two of this year’s three matches yet still lost the series on the back of the worst defeat suffered in Origin’s 35-year history.

And until they discover the killer instinct to realise two points in the fifth minute means nothing at Suncorp, little will change.

But thanks to them for keeping that shield clean for the past 12 months.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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