Time for bat­tered Blues skip­per to hang up jersey

Townsville Bulletin - - ORIGIN III - THE DECIDER -

FOR­GET a chang­ing of the guard in Queens­land, the Ma­roons last night proved Phil Gould was right and it is time for Paul Gallen to re­tire from the Blues.

The Ma­roons re­lent­lessly tar­geted two Blues play­ers – Gallen and five- eighth Mitchell Pearce.

Five tries were scored down the left cor­ner and three of them were di­rectly through Pearce. He was ex­posed.

Ev­ery time Gallen touched the ball, the Ma­roons hunted him in a pack and turned him on his back regularly.

Early in the game he com­pletely ig­nored a ma­jor over­lap down the left to take another hit up.

His in­cred­i­ble work rate means he was of­ten get­ting in the way of ball move­ment and be­cause the Ma­roons were dom­i­nat­ing him in the tackle, his go- to play of a hit and spin to an off­load was nul­li­fied.

Gallen had 18 runs last night, eight more than the Blues’ next best Aaron Woods.

He broke just one tackle in those 18 runs.

Gallen will and de­serves to go down as one of the great- est Blues for­wards. How­ever, his time has passed, his body is fail­ing him.

He said last night he was not think­ing about re­tir­ing from Ori­gin.

“It is not an is­sue for me,” he said. “We are in shock. We let our­selves down.

“Game One we prob­a­bly should have won and Game Two we were dom­i­nant.

“I found my­self won­der- ing, ‘ What do I do to mo­ti­vate the boys?’ be­cause they had been so per­fect.

“That is not good enough for the jumper.”

He also showed his class in that post- match speech by thank­ing Cameron Smith and last gamer Justin Hodges.

Gould said be­fore Ori­gin II it was time for se­lec­tors to move on from Gallen.

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