NSW unlikely threat to Queensland dominance
Game one of the Origin series is highly anticipated among players and fans alike.
New South Wales believe they have selected a team sufficiently skilled and determined to end Queensland’s six-year dominance.
Blues coach Ricky Stewart has picked a very attacking side with players such as former League bad boy Todd Carney, Jarryd Hayne and Michael Jennings.
There has been a lot of controversy leading up to the first game with many experts disputing the selections of Jarryd Hayne and Michael Jennings as both of these players have been out of form for their clubs.
Michael Jennings has even been dumped to reserve grade yet was still selected for NSW.
Some notable absences I believe are five- eighths Jamie Soward and fellow Dragons’ team-mate winger Brett Morris and Tigers’ centre Chris Lawrence.
Queensland, however, have stuck with players who have done it all before. They have selected a very experienced forward pack with players like Nate Myles, Petero Civoniceva and captain Cameron Smith, all having played in at least 20 Origins.
They have the whole Australian backline: Slater at fullback, wingers Darius Boyd and Brent Tate, centres Justin Hodges and Greg Inglis and the halves pairing of Johnathon Thurston and Cooper Cronk.
It’s going to be a hardfought, entertaining game on Wednesday evening in Melbourne, with a real belief in both camps that they have the ability to win the series.
It is just the third time it has been played outside the Queensland/ NSW State borders.
Even though I would like to see the Blues prevail, I think that Queensland will be too strong and will outclass them and win comfortably.
A quick mention European sport.
Sunday morning, local time, the Champions League soccer final was played at Allianz Arena in Munich between local team Bayern Munich versus Chelsea.
Chelsea were up against
about 50,000 screaming Germans hoping their team would lift the trophy for the fifth time in their history.
However, it was not to be, as Chelsea, upsetting the apple cart, won their first ever European trophy.
It was not without some nervous moments, having to come from behind in the penalty shootout to eventually win 4-3 on penalties.
Even though I write most of my articles about rugby and league, I do enjoy watching a bit of soccer.
I think the view that soccer is the greatest game in the world is a gross overstatement.
I believe that rugby is the greatest game but maybe I am a bit biased.
But hey, who world champions? We are. Since my old, traditionalist teacher-aide is hassling me (about mentioning the really great game), England cricket captain Andrew Strauss scored a century against the West Indies at Lords over the weekend, ending a lengthy period without reaching the magical three figures.
Congratulations Andrew Strauss.