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Queensland Maroons 2023

With 11 minutes to go, 2 points behind on the scoreboard and a man in the bin, I was happy that up to that point QLD had given the game a red hot crack and were trailing due to an Api Knock on and our missed goalkicking. I was proud of our guys for that 70 minute effort. It was a real QLD performance even prior to the last point surge.

There were a lot of mistakes in QLD's performance. Self inflicted unforced errors. There were also big efforts made when big efforts needed to be made. We can get a lot better at reducing the number of self inflicted hurdles and build on the success we have when we get the small moments in synch. QLD resilliance pays dividends in the end.


Interesting trivia:

qld favourites with the bookies for the first time since Game 2 2016.

Big Pete

Queensland Maroons 32 (Valentine Holmes 2, Murray Taulagi, Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow, Jeremiah Nanai tries; Valentine Holmes 4/6 goals) def. New South Wales 6


It was a comprehensive victory by the Maroons. It was a real time performance, but I thought the spine in particular improved on their efforts from Game I and virtually put the game out of reach with 30 to go. Cameron Munster in particular seemed to make it his mission to be around the ball as much as possible and I thought his work particularly coming out of trouble was second to none.

When he was interviewed on Channel 9, Billy Slater shared some half-time advice he gave to Reece Walsh. He basically told him not to worry about failing out there and to back himself and sure enough Walsh laid on two tries at important stages of the game. His first coming off a great run he made after he should have received a penalty for a tackle in the air.

That was a common theme of the night for the Maroons. However they didn't let the officials and their incompetence get the better of them and they kept turning up. As Slater highlighted, not only did Cherry-Evans read the Crichton situation well, his team mates did as well and were able to shut the play down. Then when Cherry-Evans accepted Carrigan's offload, the Maroons backed themselves for Taulagi to cross and give Queensland a 10 point buffer into half-time.

I thought this year tossed up an interesting challenge for Slater. Last year the side virtually picked itself and Slater just had to get them to rise to the occassion. This year he had to find a balance between form, loyalty etc. and there were some tough decisions to make. In the end, he got his 17 players in both games to play for them and now players like Reece Walsh, Murray Taulagi, Lindsay Collins etc. are coming out of it better players.

The job isn't done yet. They've got an opportunity to ice the series in style and we could possibly see a few players realise their dream of playing for Queensland. As it stands, the shield will remain in Queensland and this generation has really made it's state proud while giving players like Cherry-Evans their redemption.
I'll bet that Dane Gagai, Kurt Capewell and Kalyn Ponga were all cheering every QLD try that was scored. Wherever they were. The team is not a popularity contest. The team is not a public opinion poll. The team simply needs to be a team. QLD don't just get that. We inhabit that.

Stupidity is being impressed with Hudson Young's cockiness while he forks any chance of winning. A clueless self impressed twit more interested in niggle than work. That's they guy they want on board? Talk about F'd up priorities. NSW will be eating the shit their fans serve up to them after a loss for a few games and series yet to come. Keep picking Dumbson Dumb.

You could call selecting him again The Sequel: Dumbson Dumb and Dumber(selectors).
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Both Origin first-timers in the 2 games of this series. Dumbson Dumb and Reece Walsh. Dumbson contributes diddly squat to the scoreboard in both games. Diddly. Reece? Yeah what a difference.


First Grade
I would have liked to have seen Ponga put his hand up and say sorry I want to play this year, It would have been really strong side, Otherwise AJ coming in will do the job.
Horsburgh is probably an upgrade on Flegler

Big Pete

New South Wales 24 def. Queensland 10 (David Fifita, Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow tries; Valentine Holmes 1/2 goals)


A disappointing end to the series for the Maroons. They struggled to generate momentum through the middle and they sorely missed Reece Walsh and Kalyn Ponga on the sweep plays. Brimson returning from injury had a forgettable performance but he was in good company with Valentine Holmes and Harry Grant producing some of their worst footy in this arena.

It'll be interesting to hear why Slater kept Fifita off the field for so long. Dave wasn't having a particularly great game, but chasing points you would have expected him to come on sooner.

The Blues definitely played their best brand of footy and the Maroons couldn't handle their shifts nor their ruck control.

Still, the Maroons will get to lift the shield off the back of one of the greatest never say die houdini efforts. There's still plenty of talent emerging and it does set the stage for another thrilling chapter in Australia's greatest rivalry.

This Year?

I wouldn't read too much into the QLD loss. Their spine was unusually clunky. Harry Grant and Valentine Holmes had shockers. Brimson didn't have the best game and Munster looked frustrated because he wasn't getting early ball. QLD's middles got dominated badly.
It was a dead rubber and everyone knows it.


To the extent it injects some heart into those downtrodden blues players and fans then it's worth reading into.

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