Monday Morning Halfback: Origin aftermath
There were no shortage of talking points after a dramatic State of Origin Game Three at ANZ Stadium, the women's interstate challenge is set to explode, Darius Boyd is having arguably his best ever season, while the 100th golden point game was played since its inception in 2003.
NSW – mindset change needed
It's time to change the narrative around NSW before the next State of Origin series. Instead of deliberating on who will be picked, more time should be spent on how the Blues will play.
While inherently the players picked will play a large part in that, there has been overwhelming calls in rugby league circles for an overhaul in the Blues' approach to Origin.
Even with a 10-day build up, forming cohesive combinations is a difficult task. It is made even harder under the magnifying glass of the Origin arena. It takes NRL teams half a season to get themselves properly organised and get fluidity in their combinations, yet we expect the Blues to perform complicated set plays with constantly changing rosters.
There is a feeling NSW could have won the series had they not tried play around the Maroons. Time after time NSW's block raids were repelled easily by a very organised Maroons defence.
NSW looked most dangerous when they turned the ball through the middle and played more directly. James Maloney made numerous breaks when straightening the attack and stepping back inside and break out star Tyson Frizell's straight hard running and support created several point scoring plays and really troubled the Maroons.
There is no denying how good the Queensland team is, but the Blues proved - as they have numerous times over the last 11 years - that they are beatable.
The Blues have the talent, but perhaps a slightly different approach and the belief bore out of Origin III success will give them a better chance of winning the 2017 series.
Origin fire comes after 'dead-rubber'
Lamentably, the most fiery aspects of the 2016 State of Origin series came after the 'dead-rubber' at ANZ Stadium. There was a feeling this series was a little stale with both teams afraid to say anything that might give the opposition extra motivation.
That was until Game Three and the aftermath has been quite explosive. The stage is already set for a more intriguing 2017 series. The feeling of tension is palpable following a dramatic Origin III with both camps have been very vocal in the aftermath, and for the sake of the game we hope that continues in the build-up to the next clash.
Women's interstate challenge set to explode
NSW will go into camp on Wednesday hoping to end Queensland's 17 year dominance of the women's interstate challenge. Last year's contest ended in a draw, which was the first time Queensland hadn't beaten NSW and there is no doubt the gap is shortening and the standard is increasing.
Queensland skipper Steph Hancock declared to NRL.com that she will quit if she doesn't lead her team to victory. It means that much.
The NSW team will contain plenty of Jillaroos stars in Ruan Sims, Kezie Apps, Allana Ferguson, Maddie Studdon and Samantha Bremner and they'll be hoping that their increased experience with the national team will help them finally end Queensland's dominance.
But it won't be any easier than the previous attempts with Queensland's own Jillaroos Karina Brown, Annette Brander, Renae Kunst and Heather Ballinger all looking to keep the unbeaten record intact.
NRL.com will cover the build-up extensively and the match will be live streamed.
Queensland take on NSW on Saturday at Cbus Super Stadium before the Titans clash with the Eels.
Darius Boyd has never been better
He's won premierships with the Broncos and Dragons – including a Clive Churchill Medal - eight State of Origin series with Queensland and even a World Cup with the Kangaroos but the only time Darius Boyd has ever played better according to some high profile teammates is when he is playing Fifa on the Playstation.
He was the 2010 Dally M and RLIF Fullback of the Year, but 2016 might just be his best ever season. Solid at the back as always, Boyd's passing game has evolved into one of the best in the competition. There may not be a better ball player currently in the NRL other than Johnathan Thurston. If the Broncos are to make another charge towards the grand final, Boyd might be the most important player.
Milford stands his ground
He might have lost the attacking spark that terrorised teams at the start of the competition, but Anthony Milford still had a large hand in helping the Broncos beat the Rabbitohs on Saturday night and he did it on the other side of the ball. There was no secret South Sydney were looking to get Sam Burgess one-on-one with Milford at every opportunity and they succeeded plenty of times. But Milford stood his ground and refused to yield.
He had help from his teammates, but his first-up contact was solid and often forced Burgess into error. It was a huge night for Milford - Burgess didn't record one offload - and it will do wonders for his confidence heading into the business end of the season.
18 tackles for just two misses is a pretty handy night for Milford with big Sam hell-bent on running over him.
DCE field goal special
Daly Cherry-Evans was on the wrong side of the field to kick his match winning field goal against the Warriors on Saturday night, so he took the shot with his left foot. It never looked like missing. It's something players practice when mucking around at the end of training, but to do it under pressure in such an important match was something else entirely.
To be fair, he hit it a lot better than his previous attempt on his preferred foot, which barely got off the ground in regulation time.
World Cup draw launch
The 2017 Rugby League World Cup draw will be launched on Tuesday, with the tournament set to be kicked-off with a showdown between Australia and Wayne Bennett's England. There are still several European teams competing for the final places in the tournament, which will be finalised in matches through November and the first week of October.
100th golden point game
Manly's win over the Warriors was the 100th golden point game since the concept started in 2003. Coincidentally Manly were in the first game decided by golden point when they beat the Eels thanks to a late penalty goal.
It's the only two games they've won in golden point, losing the other five spanning 13 years.
Here is NRL.com's top 10 golden point games to celebrate the milestone.