FOR New South Wales Rugby League fans 2015 will be a year to forget.
Actually strike that, ‘forget’ is too kind a word – 2015 will be an origin series to completely purge from our memories.
I say ‘our’ because I am myself a Blues man.
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My high school years were spent ripping on my Queensland mates as the likes of Daley, Stuart, Johns and Fittler completely embarrassed an entire generation of maroon players over and over again.
I revelled in those moments, especially when it came time for my cane toad mates to hand over the myriad killer pythons and Zooper Doopers they had foolishly gambled away each year.
It was a glorious time.
In my naivety I thought it would last forever.
It is right what they say – payback is a bitch.
Around the time that those wagers of lollies and icy poles began turning into cartons of beer the mob north of the tweed started to get their act together.
It took me five years to realise I should stop but each year I couldn’t help myself.
After all we had to win eventually. Right?
Oh the cartons I have lost.
Thank Joey we did win eventually, after eight long years.
Sadly, the historic One-Peat that was 2014 will not be turned into any ‘Blues go back to back in 2015’ headlines this year.
In the space of one origin year the tide has turned so dramatically back to Queensland that they may as well be playing South Australia.
First the Blues lose their best player in Jarryd Hayne to American Football.
Next they must go without the only other two blokes who can make an Australian side that aren’t playing for Queensland in Greg Bird and Paul Gallen.
The Captain, the Talent and the Grub – gone.
Now, onto the self-inflicted wounds.
Not picking Matt Moylan at fullback was a monumental error by NSW selectors. Not only will Pearce and Hodkinson have less time as playmakers now but when they do put on a sweeping play the man delivering the crucial last pass will be Josh Dugan.
May as well be Gidley for all the ball distribution talent he has.
It’s ok though, at least we have our old war horse in Kangaroo and Blues legend Luke Lewis to steer the ship or plug a gap if need be.
Oh wait, no we don’t. We didn’t pick him.
Add to these internal woes the fact these understrength Blues must overcome what is effectively the Australian side at not one but two hostile venues this series and you begin to see why many Blues fans are adopting the ‘why bother’ approach to 2015.
At least I have become wise enough to not lose a half dozen cartons of beer along with my heart and soul!
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