No. Ruining it would be for QLD to keep winning in a NSW dominated NRL. They are professionals and although have been at least adjacent to dubious activities at the storm don't see them throwing it in their possible last season. But yes something wasn't right with them both.Conspiracy theory time. Is there a chance that Smith & Cronk threw the game? Obviously I don't believe they did, but there are a few things that don't sit well with me.
Smith doesn't miss from where the first conversion was taken from. In fact the trajectory was quite straight, it didn't skew like a miss-kick would and it was from close enough that the angle shouldn't have mattered. It was like it was kicked deliberately just outside the posts.
The second was him shooting out of the line for their second try. Again, he doesn't make those mistakes, and there was absolutely no reason to do it. The gap he left was yawning and even if Gillett was able to get a better shot then the runner would just have ran inside more as there was nothing but clear air.
The second half was just a clusterfuck so it's hard to pick defining moments, the game was lost by about the 43rd minute anyway.
Why? Two possibilities. One would be a protest for Slater not being selected. The other would be a **** you to the NRL. Ruin the spectacle of their biggest earner by sling it a one-sided affair and lose the support of the only state that gives a shit. Basically telling the NRL just how influential the players can be. He already hijacked an Origin press conference for it, I know throwing a game is another level but just putting it out there.
Don't have much sympathy for either party in pay dispute. NRL is incompetent with likely equally poor money management and players have already had big increases to salary cap without clear improvements in behaviour or quality, they are behaving more consistent with overpaid princesses. Money really needs to go to grassroots or will be obliterated in 20 years by soccer.