So New South Wales have lost another series, their tenth in the past eleven. The Blues got close once again, but close isn’t close enough. The players try hard, they give 100% for their state, but they simply come up short.
It’s time for change.
Laurie Daley has already come out and said he won’t make any changes for Game III, but I’m sorry Laurie, you’re wasting a great opportunity.
Paul Gallen, Greg Bird and Robbie Farah have all been great servants to NSW, but their time is up. Even if the Blues had won the series it’s unlikely that the three would have featured next year anyway.
Instead of giving these guys a farewell party in Game III, let’s start planning for the future.
Daley himself came out and said during the week that he was hesitant to blood young players because of his own experience as a 19-year-old on debut, where he was overawed by the State of Origin arena and the occasion.
If we’re going to head towards some new talent next series, let’s ensure they don’t have the same issue - give the next generation a chance in Game III. At the end of the day, does it really matter if we lose, we’ve lost the series anyway.
Matt Moylan wasn’t the worst player last night, but he’s not the best fullback in the state. James Tedesco should be the first player picked for the next State of Origin.
Dylan Walker has been made the whipping boy for New South Wales’ performance in the current series, but he was okay in Origin II. Sure he gave away some silly penalties, but his opposite Greg Inglis was kept fairly quiet.
It’s easy to forget Walker is just 21 years old, he’ll see more Origin football. James Roberts is someone we need to find a place for in the Blues backline. Whether on the wing or in the Centres, the 2015 Dally M Centre of the Year can win a game on his own.
Jack Bird showed last night he’s an Origin player, let’s not confine him to a cameo role like Game II. Whether at Five-Eight or Centre, he needs to be there.
Adam Reynolds could be a part of New South Wales’ future as well, but he’ll miss the next match with injury. It’s the ideal chance to try a new halfback, where the pressure to succeed isn’t as great as a live Origin match. Aidan Sezer is that man.
The best Rugby League judges in the land are crying out for Bryce Cartwright to be given a chance in the Origin arena and Game III can do that. He’s a real X-Factor and Cartwright will play a huge role in the next phase of State of Origin football.
Tyson Frizell was a stand out for the Blues in Origin II – it helps when you pick players in form. Ryan James is in Dally M contention, currently sitting up the top of the leader board. He has the versatility to play in both the front row and back row as well.
Nathan Peats is the future dummy half option for NSW and Tyrone Peachey is the spark off the bench, providing a utility option. He can play in the centres, halves, hooker and back row – virtually covering all bases.
These changes need to happen ASAP, but realistically they won’t happen – at least not for Game III.
Laurie Daley will pick the same side in hope of a victory. ‘We’ can salvage some pride, losing the series 2-1 and talk about how we were ‘so close again’. It’s a short term view, no doubt with Daley hoping to keep his job.
Why should he care about the long term prospects when he may not be a part of things anyway. That’s not an attack on the man, most coaches would do the same, but there’s no escaping a refresh is well overdue.
Why wait until next year?
No more farewell parties, let’s give the Maroons a taste of the future...
- James Tedesco
- James Roberts
- Jack Bird
- Dylan Walker
- Josh Mansour
- James Maloney
- Aidan Sezer
- Aaron Woods (c)
- Nathan Peats
- James Tamou
- Bryce Cartwright
- Josh Jackson
- Tyson Frizell
- Tyrone Peachey
- Ryan James
- David Klemmer
- Wade Graham