What is the strength of the junior league set up over there? The reason I ask is that all the NRL teams seem to have a constant supply of kiwi kids to help stock their NYC side. I constantly hear of their scouting missions to unearth the next SBW or Manu Vatuvei. Either the junior scene is really strong with plenty to select from or the playing standard is extremely high (or both)?
I would agree that there is no player these days - except Thurston, Inglis, Smith, Slater - who can pull of the magic 79th-minute play on demand like Lewis, Johns or Langer or others in the past but I think that is because defence has improved faster than attack over the last 25 years.
Possibly so Fd, but I think there is a lot more negative coaching in Origin in recent years as well.
It looks to me like Daley has picked a team on the same basis as last year. A big pack to try and stifle the Queenslanders, tall wingers for an ariel contest (as they are unlikely to get quality ball through the backline) and a halfback who is good defensively but never runs the ball at the line.
Unfortunately for Laurie, this year he does not have the individual brilliance of Jarryd Hayne to dig them out of a hole and he can't rely on Cooper Cronk breaking his arm early in game one again.
I heard an interview with Mal Meninga the other day where he stated he wanted his team to play footy this year. I personally hope Queensland cut loose and force NSW into looking at creativity as an option.