Time for battered Blues skipper to hang up jersey
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.