The opening match for State of Origin 2015 is over, with Queensland pipping NSW 11-10 in what was a pretty terrible match of football. Here to dissect the whole experience is TPA’s core editorial group: Dave Edwards, Sam Perry, Ben Shine and Al McClintock.
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Dave Edwards: I found last night’s State of Origin opener to be an insipid, limp wristed version of a great sport I once knew to be ‘rugby league’.
Sam Perry: That the opening soliloquy was delivered by Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson only served to underline how much of a parody Origin is.
DE: The pre-game stuff – usually the best part of Origin – was really shit this time around. It seems like they’ve cut the budget for it. Low production quality. Gorden Tallis’ piece to camera seemed forced. Of course, it did contain the now-mandatory footage of Tallis rag-dolling Brett Hodgson over the sideline, so at least they delivered on that front.
Ben Shine: Ray Warren at one point last night said “I believe the stadium holds around 70-80,000 people,” which shows he obviously didn’t care to research or Google anything.
SP: Ray Warren did not care, therefore I did not. I was stunned with how disinterested he seemed.
DE: Ray Warren’s apathy was palpable. His emotion is a good barometer for the health of rugby league – and if last night’s anything to go by, rugby league is on life support. Somebody bring Dr Phillip Nitschke in here and end it.
Anyway, why can’t NSW win these close games? Why are we still “soft” and they are “tough”? Their forward pack is old and ours is young, virile. We were at home – they were away. It’s fucking perception becoming reality. The opposite of Flaubert’s contention.
SP: Your question about softness is so true. It was all so depressingly predictable, and the two respective shots at field goal were a microcosm of the difference between both teams.
BS: NSW is disorganised, no pattern, yet ‘talented’ (note: Dugan stepped a bloke then kicked the ball 60 metres – seriously it was a huge drop kick), yet ultimately unfruitful. Queensland, in contrast, were cool, controlled, organised, clinical. And winning.
Alasdair McClintock: NSW players are clearly more interested in updating their Instagram accounts than getting down to the nitty gritty required to win Origin. Their fancy haircuts and tattoos are clearly evidence of this. Ultimately, their unwillingness to get their tight, white-collared shirts dirty is preventing them from truly competing with a bunch of tradesmen just there to “get the job done.”
SP: Queensland were far superior to NSW and on another night would have won that match by three or four tries. NSW also have an appalling team not helped by missing their two best players: Gallen (injured) and Hayne (gridiron).
DE: I wonder how much of this comes down to the colour scheme? I just don’t find the colour ‘sky blue’ intimidating. NSW needs a darker, more menacing shade of blue if we are going to scare Queensland at home. The crowd was decked out in NSW colours last night, but these colours aren’t scary. There’s nothing scary about a pale blue afro wig.
Of course, when we go to Queensland, the whole stadium will be filled with dark red. These maroon afro wigs will take on sinister undertones, 50,000 evil clowns baying murderously for NSW blood. It’s a more frightening colour.
AM: The fact that New Zealand have beaten us (Australia) in the past three test matches has also contributed to an air of “should we really be beating the shit out of each other while this is going on?”
DE: I like it. Stop your in-fighting lads – and let’s come together for Australia. Greater good etc.
SP: Does anything provide a greater symbol of NSW’s malaise then James Tamou’s haircut?
DE: He looks like a Disney character. Scar from The Lion King, or maybe some evil Persian dude from Aladdin. It’s not good.
SP: To be fair Billy Slater has the same haircut, but then again he’s not a State of Origin front-rower. Oh, and he’s an absolute gun who can do what he wants.
AM: I have to admit thinking mid-game: “James Tamou is a dashing young man.”
DE: Does anyone else have any more thoughts on Origin? Otherwise I will publish something out of this.
AM: I have no further thoughts about Origin.
BS: [no reply]
SP: [no reply]