Cody Walker celebrates a try with a goanna tribute to Greg Inglis.
Cody Walker celebrates a try with a goanna tribute to Greg Inglis.

Walker puts on mother of all Blues auditions

Well Cody, mum would've loved this one.

Big time.

Always your biggest fan, Linda - or Lou as she was best known - got to watch from above as you scored two tries, orchestrated a third, busted out the Greg Inglis goanna, ignited NSW Origin talk and generally proved yourself a poster boy for every kid who fears time has passed him by.

And more on that on a second.

First, mum.

The woman for whom this game was devoted.

Remembering Thursday Night Football marked a year to the day since you raced south to Nowra after hearing she had suffered a heart attack.

And, no, you didn't make it in time to say goodbye.

But that's OK.

Everything you wanted to say, she knew.

And thought of you, too.

A truth proved by that collection of ticket stubs she kept from all your games she attended.

And ever since, you've played in her memory.


Cody Walker just can’t stop scoring tries.
Cody Walker just can’t stop scoring tries.

Not only scrawling 'Mum' onto your wristband in thick, black texta, but after scoring, blowing her a kiss. Or pointing skyward, like you did after just 15 minutes of this one.

Your try arriving after the Steeden was stripped from fullback Alex Johnston, fell towards the turf, was then toed forward, and bounced up - and into your arms.

Of course it did.

Just like that grubber kick three minutes later.

When, with nothing doing on the last tackle, your centre Dane Gagai flicked a pass out the back when going to ground and … well, you weren't at ANZ Stadium but in a backyard.

Grubber, regather, Goanna.

That one, a tribute to your mate Greg Inglis. The retiring South Sydney superstar who, before kick off, was officially farewelled to the Bunnies faithful.

None of which was the story leading into this one.

No, all week the headlines surrounded that wonderful pissing contest between rival coaches Wayne Bennett and Anthony Seibold.

And just on that, chalk another one up to the old bloke.

But the rest?

It was your night.

You the bloke who never debuted until 26.


Walker is closing in on an Origin debut for the Blues. Picture. Phil Hillyard
Walker is closing in on an Origin debut for the Blues. Picture. Phil Hillyard

Which seems ridiculous at a time when we're trying to grade kids in the Under 9s. Then teaching them to wrestle soon after.

Not made it by 23? You're supposed to be done.

But not you Cody.

Better, the performance came with NSW Origin coach Brad Fittler working the sideline for Channel 9.

Have you done enough for Origin, who knows?

What we do know is that, when it comes to loyalty, the Blues coach has few peers in rugby league - which should bode well for one, and possibly both, incumbent NSW halves Nathan Cleary and James Maloney.

Yet when it comes to Freddy's blueprint for Origin football, well, you're a fit right down to the way that Steeden always bounces into your hand.

But save Origin for another day.

This one, it's for mum.