QUEENSLAND may have won the battle last night but it will cost them the war.
Having escaped ANZ stadium with a win in the series opener last night Queensland have exposed to New South Wales a weakness that can burn their State of Origin dynasty to the ground.
I don’t think there was one person who watched the film that thought for a second that Gary Busy was ever going to beat Mel Gibson.
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After all, he was the Lethal Weapon.
Not the South Africans and their diplomatic immunity, nor the tough-as-nails dirty ex-cop and his army of henchmen.
Riggs and Murtaugh got the job done for almost a decade, never looking like losing.
They were unbeatable – just like Queensland.
After a gutsy 11-10 win over New South Wales in Sydney last night, many die-hard Maroons fans will have woken up this morning with the same swagger and aura of invincibility that they have had for the last decade.
They are fools.
Want to know what I saw?
I saw Murtaugh and Riggs in that locker room trying to convince themselves through sheer force of will that ‘we’re not too old for this sh*t’.
Throughout the build up to Game 1 the term ‘dad’s army’ was thrown about with varying degrees of seriousness by the media and fans alike.
But underlying this playful swipe at the average age of the Maroons side was a very important question.
How long until father time taps a few of these Maroon legends on the shoulder and just pulls them back to the field by that 10%.
It cost NSW the battle to find out that answer.
But now they know.
And it will win them the war.
For years New South Wales went into Origin games knowing (not thinking, actually KNOWING) that even if they played their absolute best their chance of victory was still remote.
After last night they know different.
They know that their best doesn’t just give them a chance, it wins them the game.
Johnathan Thurston’s decision to take that penalty goal from 48m out with ten minutes to go screamed to New South Wales that Queensland are now too old to go for the jugular.
Gone was the arrogance and clarity of thoughts that comes with supreme confidence, gone the ability to deal that knockout blow.
They looked mortal, at times even frail and vulnerable.
For the first time in a long time it was not Queensland brilliance but New South Wales mistakes that gifted the Maroons the win.
The Blues could not have played worse in the second half.
Sure Queensland was able to win but in doing so they learnt the same lesson that Riggs and Murtaugh learnt in their final adventure.
…You can’t beat the clock.
No one can.
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