NSW un­likely threat to Queens­land dom­i­nance

Matamata Chronicle - - Sport - By STEVEN SA­MUELS

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.

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