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Queensland Maroons 2023


First Grade
There is no secret, it is in our DNA.

My 12th birthday present was a surprise trip to Brisbane to see the 3rd Interstate game in 1967 on a Tuesday at the Brisbane Exhibition Ground (Qld drew 16 all) and the 4th game that Saturday at Lang Park (Qld winning 13-11). What I took away from those games was how amazingly skilled were Ken Irvine and the Blues but also how Qld somehow managed to climb off the floor in both games.

Fast forward to my next interstate experience in 1973. Having played in the Brisbane Colts v Sydney 2nd Division curtain raiser, I witnessed an aging ex-Blue legend John Sattler and an unfit Kiwi hardhead Robin Orchard play for Qld in the first ever to nil whitewash. Yep three "to zip" games in a row, the first two at Lang Park, where Qld didn't score a single point and those imports added nothing. A bit of trivia, Wayne Bennett was our turnstile fullback. Then it was on to 1980, and with my then soon to be wife, we sat in a box to witness first hand the launch of Origin folklore and the rest is history.

So what's my point? Those many years without a winning series can be compared to the 8 years of Qld dominance from 2006 so, in fact, NSW can draw on the lean years for inspiration but they don't. Where there is Qld's legendary underdog mentality, the Blues response is focused on superior talent underperforming. Pick and stick against pick and flick, and it will be evident in both sets of DNA again in 2024.

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