Thursday, July 8, 2010

Welcome Back NSW

It was Origin and it was great. A very special Qld team wrapped up their first cleansweep in 2010, mounting the trophy earned with their fifth straight series. Qld look to have the goods for the next couple of years, but we all must remember that Darren Lockyer and Petro Civoneceva will be another year closer to 40 next year.

But this article is going to be about NSW. Last night they showed a platform and foundation that will stand them in great stead over the next couple of years.

NSW served up four new debutant and made eight changes. While none of the debutants starred, it is very fair to say that the experience gained will stand them through the test of time.

Starting from the back, Jaryd Hayne played his best game in 2010. Surrounded by some enthusiasm and forward momentum, he took some opportunities and looked dangerous. Still had some brain explosions but with players of this sort of talent. The wingers Brett Morris and Michael Gordan had a mixed bag. Brett looked all at sea in Origin this year and will have to mount a strong campaign for selection, while Gordan did everything that was asked.

Centres Michael Jennings and Beau Scott didn't shine. Jennings looked dangerous at times, Beau looked menacing. Jennings will be there next year, Scott won't. The halves in Trent Barrett and Mitchel Pearce, have different careers ahead. Losing was the best way for Barrett to go out, while Pearce has a solid Origin career ahead.

The forwards made a difference. Snowden will get better as will King, but though that together Bird and Gallon were almost unstoppable. Micahel Ennis turned the match with a stupid penalty, and Gallon missed two costly tackles heading into Qld's last two tries, but these guys should be the foundation of the side. Watmough was a pest and dangerous while Learoyd-Lars played his best ever game. Have I missed anyone, Yea Tim Mannah didn't do too much on his Origin debut, but he is certainly part of the future.

So NSW, you know what to do. This side could be something special over the next couple of years. It is up to you to keep the faith

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