As Twitter went crazy after NSW broke their State of Origin drought it’s worth remembering that when they last won, it didn’t exist.
As one unsuccessful American gridiron coach once ruefully observed: “Hey, anyone can have a bad decade”. Not withstanding the usual debatable decisions, the Blues deserved their victory. They were brave, focused and in Jarryd Hayne,occasionally brilliant.
The absence of Cooper Cronk was again reflected in Queensland’s inability to convert opportunities, confirming that the push for Daly Cherry-Evans to replace him permanently is as premature as it is misguided.
Origin problems that need to be addressed
Clearly, Origin has now assumed a position in sport that could not have been previously imagined and with that success has come problems that need to be addressed urgently.
Clubs that supply the players are being severely disadvantaged. For instance, they receive insurance for those injured but not salary cap relief. It’s an anomaly that can easily be rectified.
The same applies to suspensions. It seems unfair that team B should be penalised for a player’s transgression when playing for team A. In other words players should serve representative penalties in rep football. Clubs already paying a big price for losing their best players to Origin shouldn’t be further hit for behaviour over which they have no control in games in which they have no interest.
Not so easily resolved is the effect on the club competition itself. As much as we love Origin many supporters are upset at the impact it has on their club’s prospects, and not just during the series; players can take a month or more to recover fully both physically and emotionally.
Stand-alone weekends would never be supported by TV rights holders (or most fans) so a good start would be to move test footy to the end of the year and get rid of the annual farce of Sydney City versus NSW Country.
For now the Blues hold the trophy. They shouldn’t get too attached.
Vale Wayne Wilson – the passing of a great
It’s been several weeks now since the passing of Wayne Wilson. I’ll write more about our great sports broadcasters next issue but without doubt, Wayne is one of them.
After succeeding the wonderful Vince Curry, Wayne developed his own unique style. Always accurate, his excitement and passion were present in every call. He also possessed a genuine love of racing, its characters and the horses themselves.
The measure of Wayne’s legacy can be found in the widespread and sincere expressions of gratitude and appreciation from the many whose lives he touched and enriched.
Golfer Erik Compton takes heart
Winning and losing is always a relative thing and the scoreboard doesn’t always tell the full story. Martin Kaymer’s emphatic victory in the US Open was significant for the likeable German golfer.
Not far away, however, was the American journeyman Erik Compton who has already undergone two heart transplants. Australia is rapidly improving transplant rates so that more people can get a second (and sometimes third) shot at life. If you’re not a donor give it serious thought and make sure you discuss it with loved ones who retain the right to act against your wishes.
Whilst most of the attention has understandably been on Compton, the golfer himself would’ve been profoundly grateful to the donor who made it all possible.