Am I correct in assuming the 2012 State of Origin series has devoured more column inches, radio air time and tv segments than ever before? I’ll assume that the deciding Game Three next Wednesday is the reason, but in 2011 it was 1-1 going into a Queensland home match to decide the series too.
I will guess that the style of play from NSW in 2012 and the injury problems that have to be dealt with by Mal Meninga has given more hope than ever that the six-year Queensland domination is under threat.
What has been missed in this emotional build up for the series decider next Wednesday is the fact that Origin 2012 has thrown up some issues that require consideration and solutions.
I have no problems with anyone of any background playing in any team if it’s within the rules set by the governing body. The James Tamou/Sam Kasiano debate has been brilliant for our game and has brought to light the eligibility issue. I see the ARLC having to make some decisions in this area that will have bigger effects than who can play for Queensland or NSW.
Home team advantage
Origin III is in Queensland. They will be heavy favourites at home. NSW have won their last two home games, Queensland have not lost at home since 2009 (with the series already decided). Should the ARLC take one game per year to a neutral venue for the city with the highest bid? NSW have reignited a passionate and parochial home fan base at ANZ Stadium, but I prefer a war chest and aggressive and altruistic decisions about our game.
I think Ricky Stuart has been tremendous for NSW and Origin in his time at the helm. Origin may appear to be a theatrical presentation at times but Ricky Stuart has been genuine, provocative and completely immersed in the vision he wanted for NSW. His attitude and the culture he has developed rivals the revered ‘Queenslander’ notion. Will he still be there in 2013?
Scrutiny on the referees in this series has been relentless. Don’t show the media coverage of the referees as a recruitment tool for aspiring referees. This is a pretty tough time for the whistleblowers and it’s probably time to expect for a serious assessment and review at season’s end.
This is the requested match fee for future players who participate in an Origin fixture. I do not think it is unreasonable to identify the total amount of money generated for the ARLC by State of Origin and assign a fair and equitable percentage to the players. Divide it up and good luck to them.
Let’s not forget that the footy is why we watch State of Origin. Game One was gripping, a little conservative (like all Origin I matches) and controversial. Game Two was brutal. NSW had to win and expended everything they had physically into the collisions. I have not seen a game like that for many years. Queensland have battled injury and let’s be honest, they have not played particularly well yet in either game but they have won when required.
Origin has more a far-reaching effect on our game than just the 240 minutes on the field. This year it has thrown up some questions that need to be answered by our new leaders.