5 Big Talking Points from Origin 3
FIVE BIG TALKING POINTS
JAMES TEDESCO IS THE BEST IN THE WORLD
Never mind him deservedly being Player of the Series - James Tedesco is – according to club coach Trent Robinson – the best player in the world and after his Origin series, is there any reasonable argument against this? His superb line break in the 34th minute turned the tide for NSW after Queensland domination, with their breakthrough try coming shortly after.
He continued the onslaught in the second half and it was his support play which allowed him to take a half-chance from Blake Ferguson and finish it in style in the corner to win the series. It’s unfathomable to think anyone else but the brilliant fullback will win the Golden Boot come end of year – as great as Tom Trbojevic is, NSW likely do not win this series without Tedesco.
SUTTON AND KLEIN DO THE IMPOSSIBLE
Referees Gerard Sutton and Ashley Klein managed to achieve something previously thought impossible – they united New South Wales and Queensland punters in their frustration at the constant penalties preventing a gripping Origin from finding its rhythm.
There’s a fine line Origin officials must tread. There’s an unspoken feeling what makes Origin so unique is the “anything goes” mentality. Paul Gallen treating Nate Myles’ head as a punching bag changed the officiating forever but with the biggest viewing audience outside of the Grand Final, do we really need to see pedantic penalties for ruck interference, or offside infringements being called at the expense of the attacking team?
At one stage there were 12 penalties in 34 minutes – it wasn’t a case of one state being favoured over the other but when both sets of punters are frustrated, perhaps something isn’t quite right. Remarkably the whistle was then essentially put away in the second half, resulting in a more free-flowing match which ultimately suited the more agile Blues pack.
MUNSTER A STAR IN DEFEAT
Take a moment to appreciate the quality of fullbacks we got to witness. While Tedesco got the honours, Queensland fullback Cameron Munster could not have done anything else to get his state over the line. With Kalyn Ponga out, Munster was shifted from five-eighth to fullback to kickstart a stalling Maroons attack and that’s exactly what the Storm star did.
Munster relished the freedom to attack as he saw fit instead of playing as a left-edge half and had the Maroons stole the comeback win, it’s likely we’d be singing the praises of Munster. Instead, he’ll have to take his frustrations out with his dominant Storm side.
MITCHELL PEARCE HAS HIS REDEMPTION
At long, long, long last, Mitchell Pearce has an Origin triumph. Considering he so often has been relied upon as the primary playmaker, this time around Pearce was able to play a more reserved role in relying on his kicking whilst Damien Cook and James Tedesco in particular shredded the Maroons.
James Maloney was expected to be the steady hand in the halves but the Panther made a string of late errors. Pearce had the final say though with his crucial involvement in what will go down as one of the all-time great Origin tries with Tedesco eventually finishing in the corner.
BYE BYE KEVVIE?
He courted attention with his unique mentality brought upon by the Coach Whisperer, but despite a gutsy effort Kevin Walters’ Maroons have now lost consecutive series for the first time since 2005 and the question has to be asked – will Walters be at the helm come 2020?
Being linked to the Titans role, Walters may feel he’s taken the Maroons as far as he can and it might be now or never if he wants a gig in clubland – it’s hard to imagine should he remain next year and Queensland go down he’ll be in much demand. Queensland was so close to one of the greatest comebacks in Origin history. Instead, they’ll need to decide whether to stick with Kevvie for one more year.