State of Origin: Blues' dynasty hits roadblock

A dejected Andrew Fifita and Jarryd Hayne look on after defeat in the State of Origin decider.
A dejected Andrew Fifita and Jarryd Hayne look on after defeat in the State of Origin decider. DARREN ENGLAND

IT WAS meant to be the beginning of a Blues' dynasty.

Young, talented and seemingly galvanised, NSW's 2017 Origin side was expected to pick up the torch and carry it forward from an ageing, battle-weary Queensland outfit bereft of stars in Darius Boyd, Greg Inglis, Matt Scott and the departing Johnathan Thurston.

But the Maroons had other ideas and whether it was a repeat of a second-half display in game two Blues' great Andrew Johns labelled "dumb football”, or the mythical Queensland spirit, New South Wales was never truly in the game.

Outclassed defensively and lacking creativity in attack, former Blue and assistant coach Anthony Laffranchi said the side had probably saved their worst performance for last, and on the evidence, it's hard to disagree.

Drawing on the fact the Maroons stepped up to claw the series back from the jaws of defeat in a 10-minute period in game two, Laffranchi said Queensland simply stepped up to control the decider.

"From Cameron Smith at dummy-half, and the likes of Cooper (Cronk) and (Billy) Slater around, they just fill them with energy and that's what Queensland does,” he said on the Radio 97 breakfast show.

"They showed their class again and got the series done.”

NSW Captain Boyd Cordner was unable to will his side to victory in Origin game three on Wednesday night.
NSW Captain Boyd Cordner was unable to will his side to victory in Origin game three on Wednesday night. DAN PELED

Looking for their first series win since 2014 and just a second since 2005, the Blues made history by naming the same side for three consecutive matches in the series, while praising their two Kingscliff camps, which coach Laurie Daley labelled the "ideal preparation”.

Escaping the Sydney cold for a warm and sunny Tweed Coast, the Blues were confident the side, loaded with a fearsome forward pack of Andrew Fifita, David Klemmer, Aaron Woods and Jake Trbojevic, and stars in Mitchell Pearce and Jarryd Hayne, would be able to get the job done.

Pearce said the side had the ingredients to defeat Queensland, but they were unable to serve it up as Hayne was barely spotted, Woods lacked intensity in defence, Fifita was frustrated and Pearce struggled to impact on the game.

Pearce's scapegoat tag will only be worn more prominently after his 17 Origin games over a decade failed to deliver NSW a series win.

On the other side of the pitch, Queensland played with the heart and intensity for which they are famous.

Expected to be drawing the curtain on a dynasty that's delivered 11 of the last 12 series' wins, Queensland had other ideas with Generation Next fitting seamlessly into the fold.

Dane Gagai ran for a staggering 561 metres across the three games to win the Wally Lewis medal for man of the series, Valentine Homes crossed for three tries, and makeshift five-eighth Cameron Muster looked like a seasoned pro at Origin level despite game three signalling his Maroons debut. It's a worrying sign moving forward for NSW, who most expected to create Origin's next great dynasty.

"It looks like they (Queensland) will be a strong team moving forward. Everyone was thinking the opposite for once those big guys fall away,” Laffranchi said.

"But you surround those key guys with a lot of energy, then your Wallaces, Munsters and guys like that are going to be a force to be reckoned with for many more years to come.”

Topics:  anthony laffranchi blues maroons nsw blues state of origin state of origin 2017 tweed origin camp tweed sport

Aussie titles on home turf

HOME BOY: Matt Hurworth of   Cabarita Boardriders will compete in this weekend's Australian Surf Festival on his home break.

Top surfing showdown at Cabarita

Fan's dream becomes reality with secret Potty gig

RIGHT TO THE FRONT DOOR: Singer/songwriter Mark Wilkinson will play a gig at a Pottsville fan's home in August.

Singer-songwriter Mark Wilkinson to play secret Pottsville gig

NCEIA Dolphin Awards looking for the best of 2017

NEVER TOO LATE: Ivan Perger, 66, received his first NCEIA Dolphin Award in the folk category in 2014.

Entries to the North Coast music awards are now open

Local Partners

The Block's family home rescue mission

RENO show's new concept – relocating and restoring crumbling heritage homes – proves its biggest challenge to date.

Angelina Jolie 4.0: Is anyone buying this?

Angelina Jolie, master media manipulator, is back.

Love The Bachelor and a feminist? Sorry, you can't be both

These 22 women trying to win Matty's heart... but at what cost? (Pic: Channel 10)

Tans will be sprayed. Roses will be distributed. Tears will be shed.

New indie folk fest launching social awareness

The Heart Collectors, Reuben Loire, Kymrie Henge, Mobius Barnaby and Tristan DaFoe

New folk music and wellness festival for Tyalgum

George RR Martin: Sixth book won't be out this year

Emilia Clarke returns as Daenerys Targaryen in the seventh season of Game of Thrones, which premieres only on Foxtel on July 17.

“I am still working on it, I am still months away..."

Mum spotted on Google Earth 18 months after death

A woman has spotted her mother on Google Earth - she died in 2015

What's on the big screen this week

A scene from the movie War for the Planet of the Apes.

AN ACTION franchise comes to its epic conclusion.

Hearty food for cold nights

Boneless lamb shoulder roast with crushed kipflers.

RECIPES: Two tasty lamb dishes to try this winter

How one man made more than $20m in a land deal

Varsity Lakes

Sale, with GST added, shows as a $26.4 million transaction

Oasis in Oxley Cove estate

14 Midship Court, Banora Point

Check out this week's feature property.

Tenant: Let me rent, I'll fix your property and pay for it

Noosaville tenant Tony Conyers thought his tenancy was guaranteed until 2035, so he spent his own money on the property. Now he's been told he may not be able to stay for even one more year.

Renter spent $30k on maintaining, improving property over 17 years