Rag­tag bunch suf­fer em­bar­rass­ing fright night

Townsville Bulletin - - ORIGIN III - THE DECIDER -

THE brain ex­plo­sion Blues are back.

So much for the “New” South Wales team. This was the same old, ill- dis­ci­plined, bad tack­ling, short tem­pered bunch of foot­ballers that lost eight straight se­ries in a row. What an em­bar­rass­ment. They got what they de­served, a record Ori­gin de­feat that ex­posed ev­ery weak­ness in their team.

“That was not us tonight, that was nowhere near what we’re ca­pa­ble of do­ing,” NSW coach Lau­rie Da­ley said. “I’m just shocked that it ended up like that.

“We have to deal with it, ac­cept it, the chal­lenge has been set and we have to come back again.”

For Queens­land it was se­ries nine out of 10. For NSW it was a one out of 10 per­for­mance.

It was dubbed the Blue Wall – it even had its own hash­tag. But the wall fell apart like a stale vi­o­let crum­ble. They fin­ished the night with 27 missed tack­les.

Mitchell Pearce, the Blues play­maker with more Ori­gin lives than a cat, was the worst of­fender.

He had four missed tack­les in the first half. He and Josh Mor­ris were all messed up as Johnathan Thurston tor­mented them with his magic tricks.

First it was Josh Pa­palii steam­ing through, next it was Greg Inglis.

By the end of the night Pearce had a game- high six missed tack­les. The en­tire Queens­land team tal­lied just four missed tack­les. The last limp ef­fort by Pearce came at the death as Ai­dan Guerra capped the eight- try rout with a stroll across the stripe.

“It just came down to pos­ses­sion. I think it was 42 sets they had – we only had 21,” Da­ley said.

“Our com­ple­tion rate was poor, too much pres­sure, too much de­fence … we just had no ball.”

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