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EYE-BALL’s Snoop-Poop on – 2012 State of Origin – Game 1 Review

May 24, 2012
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2012 State of Origin – Game 1 Review
The State of Origin Game 1 on Wednesday never reached any real game highs – QLD were well below their best and NSW had only themselves to blame.  Stuart in his press conference gave every reason why he is not the man for the job.

Making it about the ‘referee’ decisions via his choice of words makes him ‘idiot’ of the year.  Everybody could see it was NSW’s ill-discipline that cost them the game.   SO – rather then he express his disappointment in his teams effort – he took a cheap shot and made it about a ‘no-comment’ on the referee decisions.  You’re a ‘putz’ Stuart and so far out of your depth at this level NSW will never ever return to the victory dias with you in charge.

To the Game – whether it was the rumoured ‘flu’ that knocked the QLD forwards over – they were just not themselves – no aggression – no go-forward – scrambling defence – and all one out running.   With that obvious to all – the delay in bringing Williams on until mid way through the 2nd half was a tactical error.  Having him run wide was also a mistake – he would have wrecked havoc up the middle if that was where Stuart told him to run.

Hayne was outstanding – probably his best game in any form of league in a very long time.  Watch for a Parramatta revival on the back of it.  Tamou was everything NSW needed.  He bent the QLD line every time – again emphasising the QLD forward pack being out of sorts.  Farrah was all over Smith in the first half and dictated play – he went missing in the 2nd half – sat the first part of it on the bench – another tactical mistake by Stuart.

NSW never threatened QLD’s line – their two tries came from Slater mistakes against the high ball.  It might take a few more games at this level for the NSW backline to become a potent force – defensively they were caught out twice when QLD scored their try’s.   Both to Uate’s wing  with Morris on his inside.  Welcome to the big league Morris –

For 80% of the match NSW looked the better side – did more in attack – defence and dominated field position.  There was no reason NSW should not have won that match given these stats …  in an earlier post the comment was made that if NSW go the ‘biff’ it would be an admission they had lost the game.  This happened at the 20th minute when Bird gave Scott a shove after a penalty had been given for NSW being off-side.  This generated a melee in which Jennings proved he really is a goose – he ran 40 meters and wound up a right fist along the way and let loose a haymaker that did not miss QLD’s winger Tate.

Where he hit him – (side of skull) will probably mean Jennings has some bone injury to his hand that will be kept quite.  This was the turning point of the match – Jennings get 10min in the sin-bin – QLD score and lead 6-4 – and another try on half time – again off a penalty give away by BIRD – have QLD ahead 12-4.

If Stuart can’t get the message across about discipline and its role at SOO level – then he has no right being there.  He should drop Bird and Jennings as a response and let his players know that a higher level of self-control is needed at this level.  Rightly so because the referees allow a lot to go by that would be pulled up in Club games – so the self discipline has to be there so as to not get carried away will the good-will offered up by the referees.

Player comments for their performance appear below – the ratings shown are not based on this game –

2011 2012 Rating Comments Rating 2012 2011
Slater Slater 10 Slater had a shocker – Stewart did enough to ensure his place in the team.
5 Stewart Minachello
YowYeh Tate 6.5 Tate was probably best on ground for QLD – Uate was not as potent as he was last series – caught out in defence twice.
6.5 Uate Uate
Boyd Boyd 8 Boyd was solid and did his part in scoring tries off backline moves – Hayne went looking for the ball and this made him dangerous.
6 Hayne Hayne
Inglis Inglis 10 Inglis had a monster 1st half and was hardly seen in the 2nd – was seen getting back work in sheds at half-time. Jennings was a Jekyll and Hyde performance – no one doubts his ability – but someone needs to give him a brain.
5 Jennings Hopoate
Hodges Hodges 8 Hodges was quite by his standards – Morris struggled with Inglis and put in a solid enough performance to retail selection.
5 Morris Gasnier
Lockyer Thurston 9 Thurston was Thurston – made his mark and did a power in covering defence – Carney will be better for the experience – he is a player NSW can put some faith in if he stays sober.
6 Carney Soward
Thurston Cronk 7 Cronk was busy – but was not a big influence on the game – Pearce always looks busy but it’s like running in the spot – never will be up to this level.
5 Pearce Pearce
Scott Scott 9 Scott struggled to make ground – Tamou best NSW forward on ground.
5 Tamou Mannah
Civoniceva Civoniceva 9 Quite and had 40m of game time – looked to be struggling from the outset.  Gallen did the 80 min thing again but cramped up in the last 10 min or so – stupid when players like Williams get little game time as a result.
9 Gallen Gallen
Smith Smith 10 Smith was absent for most of the match – his little touches were just not there – Farrah had a big 1st half and then the Coach benched him for most of the 2nd half.
4 Farrah Innis
Myles Myles 7.5 Myles received man of the match – had to be for his defensive work – Lewis was strong in both defence and attack – a quality forward.
7 Lewis Creagh
Thaiday Thaiday 6.5 Thaiday was subdued – Stewart tried hard but his off-load game was contained.
6.5 Stewart Scott
Harrison Harrison 6 Harrison put in a big effort in both attack and defence – Bird cost NSW the match with 2 penalty give aways that allowed QLD to score 2 converted try’s.
5 Bird Bird
Cronk Gillet 6 Gillet had little game time and was when QLD were under pressure to clear their line – Merrin is another player who is undisciplined at this level – his off the bench niggle in tackles will cost NSW in the series unless he  is corrected.
6.5 Merrin Gidley
Taylor Taylor 6 Taylor reported in dressing rooms 3-4 times with bowl issues during game – had little impact – Williams had monster role and Stuart’s under playing him was a big tactical error.
5 Williams Watmough
Hannet Hannet 6.5 Hannet had big impact off the bench.  Buhrer got very little game time.
5 Buhrer Lewis
Lillyman Shillington 6.5 Shillington was good off the bench – Creagh was pedestrian – not up to this level on current form.
5 Creagh Merrin

QLD can feel lucky to be 1-0 in the series.  If they play like that in Game 2 they won’t win.  QLD did not win this game – NSW gave it to them.  They have been losers for so long they have forgotten how to win.

I say again – Stuart made many tactical errors last night –

  1. Williams game time – he was NSW most destructive forward in the 2nd half when he got a run … Stuart’s call.
  2. Williams running wide when QLD forwards were obviously out on their feet – he should have been directed to go up the middle … Stuart’s call.
  3. Gallen playing 80 min out of an ego thing when he cramped up in the last 5 min or so – he was on empty and for some time before with player like Williams on the bench … Stuart’s call.
  4. Farrah benched when he was the most dangerous player on the field and left there  until deep into the second half – Stuart is messing with players heads when they can see the value in him staying on – yet  the coach makes a stupid call … Stuart’s call.
  5. Bird – his discipline has always been his undoing – Stuart should have been on top of this and given him special instructions to cool his heels in any confrontation – remember this guy glassed his girlfriend out of frustration … Stuart’s lack of foresight.
  6. Jennings – picked from reserve grade so Stuart had to have known there was residual resentment waiting an opportunity to express his feelings – it cost NSW the momentum and the game … Stuart’s lack of foresight.


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  1. League Leg End
    May 24, 2012 at 10:31 am

    Matt Cecchin was qld’s best. I would go man of the match Brent Tate. From the losing team Morris’s defence was awesome. Man of the match was a difficult decision. Jennings is a goose, his 10 minutes in the bin changed momentum. Then you wonder why he was singled out. Sure he ran in, but the melee was well and truly on before that. Bird was v solid. Why did the Sharkies release him? As I said yesterday, Tell Mum they played game, and such is life. This series is v much alive.

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