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The Student Media Site of William Clarke College

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A Blue Plight: A review of 2023 Origin

Maybe next year, NSW
Taken from Middle Harbour 16’s

As we yet again close out another Origin series, Rugby League NSW has been left down in the dumps with a defeat to the hands of Queensland maroon squad. 2 years in a row, the Blues have lost the State of Origin and many within the rugby league community are left wondering if the Blues will ever reclaim the victorious title.


Game 1 in Adelaide

There were high hopes of a NSW team that looked poised to beat Queensland. 2022 grand final winners in Nathan Cleary, Jarome Luai, Isaah Yeo, Brian To’o, Api Korisau and Grand Finalists in the form of Junior Paulo made up a strong NSW team. Suffice to say, NSW, much like last year, were favourites to win the series. Game 1 started off very much on an off for both teams, with the scoreline remaining close throughout the entire game. However, the momentum seemed to change in the 68th minute when Queenslander Thomas Flegler was sin binned for a controversial tackle on Trebojovic. Now whether the tackle was ‘sin-binnable’ is up for debate, but what can’t be denied is that with 12 men on the field for Queensland, NSW should easily have taken the game while 2 points up. However, the opposite happened and two quick tries were scored in rapid succession by “The Hammer” Tabuai Fidow and Cameron Munster. And those 2 tries all but sealed the fate of the game as NSW failed to recover, losing 26-18 despite being a man up at that crucial time. 


Game 2 in Brisbane

Heading into Game 2, the Blues hopefulness had been thoroughly drained, and an incredibly disappointing Game 1 had led to calls for Blues coach Freddy Fittler to make large shake ups to a team that had largely remained the same since our loss in 2022. Further disaster struck when Panther’s half back Nathan Cleary sustained a hamstring injury. In response, after consideration of all his options, Fittler and the selectors picked Eels half-back Mitchell Moses to fill the shoes of Cleary. The Game was to take place in Queensland, where NSW haven’t won in a decade. Starting the game, former Dally M Tom Trebojovic was immediately sidelined due to a pectoral injury. And from that point on NSW failed to counter and collect points against a Queensland masterclass. The game culminated in a last second biff where NSW Bulldogs Josh Addo Carr was sent off in shame and Queensland Broncos Fullback Rhys Walsh was sent off to a roaring crowd of tens of thousands and 32-6 win. As Walsh gave the marron logo a cheeky kiss, the fate of NSW was sealed and QLD was handed back-to-back origin series victories. 


Game 3 in Sydney

In a ‘dead rubber’ Game 3, NSW were able to comfortably beat QLD 24-10 on home soil with a masterclass by South Sydney player Cody Walker, who was the replacement of the dropped Jarome Luai. But the triumph of the win in NSW did not soften a blow of another origin series defeat.


For years, the NSW team have been representative of the soft underbelly of Australian rugby league, a perception heightened by QLD’s record of recent Origin dominance. And as the scars of the 2006-2013 Origin are reopened, who knows what the future holds for our beloved underdog team. 



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Archie H (Year 12)
Archie H (Year 12), Chief Contributor

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