State of Origin - QLD v NSW: Game 3
State of Origin - QLD v NSW: Game 3

Queensland’s spirit leaves NSW again looking for answers

BOMBER'S BLAST

Anthony Breeze

THE State of Origin series is over with Queensland drawing on its fighting Maroon spirit to deliver an unlikely finale.

What a three-game series we had.

It started with a huge Queensland upset in Adelaide, delivered a dominant NSW win in Sydney and culminated in a fantastic victory to the underdog Queensland side.

This Maroons side did what most people, including a lot of Queenslanders, thought was impossible before game 1 - winning the series.

The old saying goes that you can never count a Queenslander down when they pull on the Maroon jersey and a lot of players can now attest to this. It was the first series that a host of players had pulled on the Queensland jersey.

Queensland got soundly beaten in Game 2 but that was without Cam Munster who was knocked out early.

Didn't he repay the state in bucketloads last night with a vintage performance in the No 6 jersey.

Munster had some valuable support from several players with two of them coming on from the bench.

Lindsay Collins was a machine when he got thrust into action. He topped the hit-ups and metres gained for all forwards on the field although he only played 40 minutes.

 

Harry Grant also was brilliant when he got his tap on the shoulder to make his way into battle. Grant terrorised the Blues as soon as he got on the playing arena and this performance will see him be the Queensland hooker for many years to come.

The Blues have some serious problems to overcome with a major one selecting players outside of their comfortable playing positions.

Several forwards also failed to put their hand up and take the hard runs in the middle and now could see their file marked "select with caution'', "Qld defeats NSW", "Wayne defeats Freddy" and "the Queensland public outcheers the NSW public''.

One thing that we all are assured off next year is the rivalry will continue and two teams will battle it out again for Origin supremacy.

Big Bash changes

THE Big Bash League starts on December 10 and Cricket Australia (CA) has introduced three dramatic rule changes to help brighten up the game with new strategies.

The first of these is The Power Surge, which is an addition to the Powerplay that currently exists.

The first four overs will stay as the Powerplay but the batting team will now have two extra overs from over 11 onwards to decide when they will play this option.

The Bash Boost is how points will be awarded to teams during the game. Four points will be on offer with three going to the winning team while one point will be allocated to the team who has the most runs after 10 overs.

The final change is the X factor where a team halfway through their first innings can sub in their X factor player. This player can replace any player on the field who is yet to have a major impact on the match.

That means he hasn't batted or bowled multiple overs.

Players were consulted about these changes and were against bringing them in but

CA has pressed ahead.

Time will tell if they made the game better or worse.

Quick thoughts

POSITIVES: 1. Ash Barty will finish this year as world No 1 although not playing in any tournaments after COVID hit. It shows what a great year she had in 2019 and how many points she accumulated.

2. The Ipswich Jets may not have taken to the rugby league playing fields but the netballers have done the club proud with the Sapphires in Saturday's grand final and the Jets Rubies making the semi-finals.

3. It was great to see young Western Pride player Josh Boyle make his senior team debut last weekend. He is a champion kid with a ton of class on and off the field. He will go higher.

Negatives: 1. Tennis Australia has pulled the rug out from under fans in the Sunshine State by not allocating any tournaments in Queensland in the lead-up to the Australian Open. When making the decision did they remember that it was Queensland that saved the NRL, AFL, netball and several other sports this year.

2. Shayna Jack had her drug conviction reduced to two years. Hopefully this is wake-up call to all athletes to be more cautious.

3. I have seen some bad decisions in boxing before but none like the verdict to rob Andrew Maloney of the WBC Super flyweight title. The fight was stopped and awarded a no contest as an apparent headbutt had caused the injury. Video replays showed Maloney's right hand was the one thing that caused the damage.

Sporting birthdays

1. 1917: Bobby Locke - South African golfer who won the British Open in 1949, 1950, 1952 and 1957.

2. 1954: Steve Rogers - Cronulla Sutherland centre who represented Australia on 24 occasions.

On this day

1. 1902: Geo Lefevre and Henri Desgrange create the Tour de France bike race.

2. 1960: Jack Brabham retains his F1 World Drivers Championship by finishing fourth in the season-ending US Grand Prix.

3. 1969: Brazilian soccer superstar Pele scores his 1000th goal.

4. 2018: South African golfer Gary Player receives recognition for his three senior British Open victories, taking his major titles tally to nine.