Hey NSW, Queensland has problems too

Listen to all of those whining rugby league people from NSW. Like myself.

As another State of Origin loss approaches, it’s nothing but headlines of impending terror from the tabloids, chaff-bagging from the shock jocks and verbalised doom and gloom from the fans like the following.

(For best realistic grouchiness, I suggest reading these out loud in the flinty and crabby voice you utilise when you repeat the statements of a person you’ve just argued with.)

“We’ve lost our fullback and now we have to reshuffle.”

“We’ve lost our winger and now we have to pick someone ordinary.”

“Our captain is going to be underdone.”

“We can’t decide on a five-eighth.”

“The coach likes Mitchell Pearce.”

And so on and so forth.

Should be playing for NSW.

Should be playing for NSW.

It’s like a room full of unfed tabby cats. Unless you indulge us with some kind of quail to take our mind off the pangs, the discontented shrieking never ends.

As a whole state, we are so stung by the past that this event is now just an unbearable annual burden on our ever-weakening shoulders.

I reckon if we could all just voluntarily contract chronic conjunctivitis around May so our eyes are welded closed by crust for the entirety of the series, we probably would, because we all know how it’s going to finish in the end.

But what we NSW folk need to realise is that we don’t hold the rights to interstate league anguish.

Sure, it may seem like we do after eight years of pain and regular doses of bad fortune and bewildering selections, but have you ever stopped and spared a thought for the Queenslanders and their plight?

Quite inconceivably, they have problems of their own too. And right now they are suffering in their flannelettes thanks to one big pickle in particular.

The poor and unfortunate winners from up above us, drunk on success yet still not inebriated enough to stop being served, have to decide between two of the game’s greatest ever players for one vital position in their spine.

After another bulldozing performance for the Rabbitohs last night that included two tries and much strewn damage, the Greg Inglis case for the Queensland fullback role has now become officially real.

Up until now, it’s been a stone cold moral that the annoyingly adroit Billy Slater- a handy fellow to have in your team as considered arguably the greatest fullback in the game’s history- would be slotted in at the back where he belongs, in the spot he has earned over a long period of dominance, and rightly so.

After years of remarking the boundaries for custodial conduct, it should take something monumental to usurp a player of his abilities, right?

Well that monumental something is happening right now at Souths.

Up until recently, while ever Inglis had been scorching turf outside of Origin selection time (or in Slater’s absence such as game three last year), the world beating of the Rabbitohs fullback has been considered nothing more than just a funny joke about being uber-rich to Mal Meninga and the Maroon state.

The old garage full of Maseratis and where to park them. Always a hoot for a bunch of rum-quaffing fat cats.

But no longer is the laughter echoing from the cane fields.

It has been replaced by the sounds of flailing sheets as sleep is interrupted by the racing minds of a state, with Meninga sure to be the worst hit by the unavoidable tragedy of his imminent decision to shunt a one-in-a-million player.

It is becoming a stark reality that the team can potentially be improved further with Inglis’s silky battering-ram qualities at fullback.

It is also fact that the team is already disgracefully sterling, and much of that is down to Slater’s influential enterprise in the role over the years.

Which way does Queensland go?

One of the game’s greatest all-time players with a thousand runs on the board? Or 2013’s stand-alone untouchable who is turning everything he touches to platinum?

Sure, Inglis could just be casually placed back in the centres, but that’s probably what NSW would prefer, and Meninga has made his coaching bread and butter in making sure things for us are as difficult and miserable as possible.

But wasting Slater out on a wing is undoubtedly in breach of a number of rugby league’s commandments.

It’s just a complete mess. What a terrible predicament the Queenslanders find themselves in.

You’re not a human with a beating heart if you don’t weep on the inside for them. C’mon benevolent and accommodating members of the community, surely one of you has set up a charity that I can make a donation to?

So next time we Blues fans want to cry foul about being the poor cousin of mate-against-mate, spare a thought for the poor Queenslanders. They have quandaries too.

Well, at least one anyway.

 

 

 

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Dane Eldridge Tries Hard

Contemporary rugby league surrealism and hot takes on Shane Warne

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