I’ll load it up tomorrow morning. Thanks for the impetus!State of Origin 2008
Get a load of this NSW side.
Kurt Gidley, Jarryd Hayne, Joel Monaghan, Matt Cooper, Anthony Quinn
Braith Anasta, Mitchell Pearce
Ben Cross, Danny Buderus, Brett White, Craig Fitzgibbon, Ryan Hoffman, Paul Gallen
Brett Stewart, Willie Mason, Anthony Laffranchi, Anthony Tupou
A fullback on the bench, a 19-year old rookie halfback, a middle forward on an edge and an 'impact' workhorse.
This indecisiveness from the selectors slipped into the team's mentality and prevented them from truly challenging the Maroons. Set after set NSW persisted with one off the ruck footy and when they felt adventurous, they'd play short to Hoffman.
I feel for Pearce. At 19 he wasn't ready for this level of footy. Like Mullen the previous year, his first half wasn't bad. He was quiet, but when it was his turn to put in a kick, he nailed most of them and his defence was on the money. Nerves got the better of him in the second half, but he received little support.
Anasta was MIA and Gidley decided to retire his passing game after he put Cooper over in the first half. Buderus was as tenacious as ever, but tunnel vision got the better of him. In comparison to Smith, Buderus only had one gear, flat-out. Nobody, not even his own team-mates could keep up with him, which made even the most basic of set-plays look clunky.
The Stewart selection was baffling. It was a case of monkey see, monkey do with NSW imitating the Maroons selection policy without understanding the logic. NSW bullied Slater in the first game and forced the Maroons to play from behind the entire evening. Stewart had been the Blue's best since Game II 2007 and didn't require the same protection. To make matters worse, he didn't enter the game until the 50th minute and he was starved of good ball.
The Blues tried hard all game but lacked the team work to beat the Maroons. On the rare occassions where they decided to spread the football, they looked dangerous but it was too little, too late.
https://www.smh.com.au/sport/nrl/lyons-rep-in-tatters-after-snubbing-blues-20080625-gdsjgy.htmlWas this during Lyon's self-imposed Origin exile though?
Interesting theory on Manly / Fulton and wanting to shield the Sea Eagles' players, because more recently (while Fulton was still a selector) it seems the opposite - he arguably used his Blues affiliation to lure players to Manly with the promise of NSW selection (Dylan Walker etc).