Please note javascript is required for full website functionality.

Sport

23 July, 2021

Origin Three, too little too late

By Skye Gregory IT WAS a case of “too little too late” for our Queensland State of Origin team this year, but… and it’s a BIG but… we were able to stop NSW from claiming a clean sweep. Sometimes we just have to take what we can get! While Freddie (Brad) Fittler smiled for the cameras and claimed the shield, I have to believe that there’s that little voice inside (I like to think it’s the face of Fatty Vautin and he’s wobbling his head with his tongue in the side of his cheek) reminding him that it’s been 21 years since a NSW team claimed the clean sweep.


IT WAS a case of “too little too late” for our Queensland State of Origin team this year, but… and it’s a BIG but… we were able to stop NSW from claiming a clean sweep. Sometimes we just have to take what we can get! While Freddie (Brad) Fittler smiled for the cameras and claimed the shield, I have to believe that there’s that little voice inside (I like to think it’s the face of Fatty Vautin and he’s wobbling his head with his tongue in the side of his cheek) reminding him that it’s been 21 years since a NSW team claimed the clean sweep.

So again, as Queenslanders, we take these small victories and look ahead to 2022. Without a doubt, the 2021 NSW State of Origin team were collectively the better team, both on paper and on the field. Interestingly enough, both New South Wales and Queensland were missing key playmakers in the respective games they lost; so can a team’s success really come down to two or three players? In my opinion, absolutely! We saw the Queensland Origin reign during the Thurston, Smith, Slater and Cronk era and when you surround these key playmakers with strong support, you reap the results.

 While skills are certainly integral, let’s not underestimate the sense of “team” that players of this nature bring to the table. Much like Ash Barty recently credited “their” win at Wimbledon… plural, as in ‘her team’s’ win. Ash understands and recognises that even in an individual sport, you don’t reach greatness without a team beside you. Great rugby players know their place and their job within the team and great players will build comradery and a level of cohesiveness that will result in some absolute brilliant football, which we witnessed in Game Three. One could argue that the dominance of inform Panther players in this year’s NSW team was the key to their success and we could liken this to the Smith, Cronk and Slater combination that proved formidable for many years.

 However, a team is not limited to six or thre players, but it can definitely form a solid foundation. If you throw in some pure talent like Thurston, Gagai, Ponga, Munster, Holmes, Tedesco, Trbojevic and Addo-Carr who seamlessly partner and work with any player to create opportunities, breaks, assists and tries, you’re wellon your way to a successful on-field formula.

 Let’s not forget that it’s integral to give the in-form young guns game time, because any teams future is reliant on their success. So, my takeaways from Origin 2021: 

Never underestimate the true grit and determination of a team with something to prove, both to itself and its supporters. 

 Key playmakers are the foundation of a great team, but strong team players who play for something bigger than themselves are integral to success. n Mackay and the greater Central Queensland region has produced some of the best players we’ve ever witnessed on a football field.

While Ben Hunt had a cracker Game Three, I found myself yelling at the TV “why can’t you play like this all the time”… so for me, the jury is still out. All I can say is bring on the 2022 State of Origin… and let’s hope Josh Addo-Carr intercepts the ball so we can see Cairns local “The Hammer” (Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow) put his foot down. 

Now there’s a race I would like to see!  

  Skye Gregory is the managing director of Summyt Sports Marketing, lover of all things sport and devoted mum to two very active kids!  


Most Popular