Qualifying final set to be unmissable
WHEN our expectations are great, we are often disappointed. A movie, a meal, a live show or, dare I say it, in my case a round of golf.
But disappointment is unlikely in Brisbane tomorrow night.
The second qualifying final between the Broncos and Cowboys shapes as a genuine blockbuster, and my gut feeling is that it will deliver on that promise.
Queensland has not won nine of the past 10 State of Origin titles by fluke.
And tomorrow night nine players who have had a hand in that miraculous record will strut their stuff on the big stage in front of a sellout crowd of more than 50,000 fans.
Add to that the fact both teams won 17 of their 24 games to finish second and third respectively (the two clubs also finished first and second in the NRL club championship), and we are talking about the current crème de la crème of our game.
But while the mere mention of the names Broncos or Cowboys in 2015 conjures anticipation of entertaining and competitive footy, what this final brings to the table in individual clashes is quite exceptional. In almost every position on the field the one-on-one contests could be match defining.
Obviously the match-up between the halves creates most interest, and the result could well hinge on which duo finishes on top.
If guns Johnathan Thurston and Michael Morgan carry injuries into the match, then Broncos rookies Ben Hunt and Anthony Milford might just get the job done.
Up front is another area where the Cowboys have a decided edge, with James Tamou and Matt Scott the current Test front row.
But what 'identical twins' Sam Thaiday and Adam Blair give away in size, they substitute with superb defensive technique.
Lachlan Coote has been superb for the Cowboys at fullback, while Darius Boyd is yet to produce his best; Test centres Justin Hodges and Jack Reed will no doubt try to bully the less-experienced Justin O'Neill and Kane Linnett; bustling Jason Taumalolo will be more than a handful for the ever-reliable yet hamstrung Corey Parker; livewire Jake Granville will be teasing the reaction time of the Broncos forwards, in particular Andrew McCullough; and the under-rated and the hard-running Gavin Cooper will again test the edge defence of Matt Gillett.
In a nutshell, the Cowboys appear to have more to offer in attack, but the Broncos are where they are today because of their outstanding on-line defence.
Bring on the blockbuster.
Yes, yes, yes
BULLDOGS bad bay Josh Reynolds has finally admitted that he has been a dumb footballer. What a revelation.
No, no, no
AND while it may not be the crime of the century, the George Burgess bottle-throwing incident doesn't paint a picture of superior intelligence either.