Do you know how many times New South Wales have changed their halves combination since Queensland started their record breaking run in the State Of Origin series?
Yeah…I don’t care either!
I am sick to death of hearing people say that the reason New South Wales loses State Of Origin series comes down to the team being changed so often. There is a very good reason why the team keeps changing….they keep on losing State Of Origin series!
Today there is talk that James Maloney’s place in the NSW side is under threat after his not so great start to the season. Personally I think his form matches that of his Sydney Roosters team mates. It isn’t great right now, but who cares in April. You want players and clubs playing well when it really matters at the end of the season.
Still, Maloney’s form doesn’t help his State Of Origin chances, even if his halves team mate at club level would need to retire tomorrow and go into hiding to not get selected…
New South Wales have a number of players to consider. All of these players come with different strengths and weaknesses.
Adam Reynolds looked set to step up and really challenge for a State Of Origin place this season, but his game has taken a backwards step in 2014.
Todd Carney has shown flashes of brilliance this year, but he has done so in between injuries. He needs more game time, more consistency, and even then you’re gambling on a player that might not be available for every game.
Luke Brooks has played well but he is just starting his career. It would be a huge ask for him to step up to Origin level when he is still riding the roller coaster that is a young first graders career.
Jamie Soward and Peter Wallace’s names will probably come up at some point if the Penrith Panthers keep winning. They have both played State Of Origin in the past, and while Wallace really has looked like a new player this season, even as a Panthers supporter I’m not pushing their case for selection.
Terry Campese might be a dark horse in the race but you get the feeling the last thing he would want is the distraction of State Of Origin when he is just happy to be on the field again and playing for the Raiders.
Josh Reynolds has been mentioned, but I don’t think his form this season has been at his best. I have always said he looks to me like an Origin player, and I’d like to see him get a run, but I want him to really step up over the next few weeks to make it happen.
For me the most intriguing halves out there New South Wales might consider are actually playing in Queensland.
The Gold Coast Titans sit atop the NRL ladder and their halves, Albert Kelly and Aidan Sezer, are both from New South Wales. You wouldn’t say they are all that heavily in the mix right now, but their form is good. If the Titans keep winning and these two young blokes keep leading their team really well, they have to be considered.
At some point, New South Wales selected started to think they were clever. Even when NSW selectors were able to win Origin series you saw strange selections come up because NSW selectors knew better than everyone else. They simply forgot what wins Origin series.
I’m not talking about rubbish like pride of passion….I’m talking about talent.
New South Wales hasn’t got the same talent as Queensland right now, and that why they are losing series after series to them. Until we get enough talent and give those players a run, New South Wales will keep losing.
I’d much rather lose with a team that was different, a bunch of blokes that were in form and hungry to break the losing streak rather than seeing the same old heads run out and lose the series.
Basically, lets worry about settling on a halves combination when we have a half decent one. Until then, chop and change them every game for all I care!
A well known Rugby League writer, League Freak has established a reputation among supporters of the game for his fearless commentary and unmatched insight. With a reach that spans both sides of the globe, League Freak has produced an independent network that allows him to distribute content to his many thousands of followers. He is the owner and main author of LeagueFreak.com
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