State of Origin Game 3: The Sad Truth About TV Flash Andrew Jones in New South Wales

Andrew Jones was broken on Wednesday night, but his post-match address revealed a much bigger problem that continues to haunt NSW.

Queensland, you did it again.

During the Maroons’ reign, when they won 11 out of 12 series between 2006 and 2017, they boasted some of the greatest players the game has ever seen in Cameron Smith, Billy Slater, Jonathan Thurston and Cooper Cronk.

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Even with all this talent, the reason for their success has often been cited as Queensland taking more care of Origin. Possessing the Primordial “spirit”. Win those little moments that matter so much.

Of course, it was a myth that Queensland had more passion for interstate competition than New South Wales. But so often it was the Maroons with this one last, last game to steal the victory – so the myth lived on.

But not among the blues. That’s right, they’ve always dismissed the claim that they didn’t “get” Origin like Queensland did, even though they cut and swap players and coaches, responding to criticism that they didn’t “pick and stick” like their rivals.

With a thrilling 22-12 win on Wednesday night, those north of Tweed added another chapter to Origin folklore by winning a game they were not eligible for.

Loss of top player Cameron Munster and forward Murray Taulagi before match due to Covid, Maroons coach Billy Slater called out two debutants. He then lost two players to concussions in the first three minutes.

His troops shouldn’t have had a chance, but rookie Tom Dearden was an exceptional player, Kalin Ponga threatened every touch, Daley Cherry-Evans’ footwork was masterful, and Ben Hunt took charge of the Origin Shield.

Queensland have won two of the last three series – often through heart, camaraderie and courage, not just talent. That’s why NSW legend Andrew Jones was so dark as he headlined Nine’s post-match coverage alongside Maroons legends Smith and Paul Votin.

Saying that it must have been hard for him to watch, Jones replied, “Yes. It means so much.”

Paul Votin’s question about what went wrong in New South Wales took Jones to the extreme.

“Why? Well, you won important points,” he said.

“Now we have to listen to all the bulls *** from you (the people of Queensland) in the next 12 months. It’s crazy.”

These “bulls of ***” that Jones spoke of are not just the usual gloating that comes with every win in the Origin Series, but the Queenslanders’ belief that they “get” Origin and New South Wales don’t.

Jones’ grim display of what some call sour grapes wasn’t quite as intimidating as the unusual spray he delivered to New South Wales for failing to target an injured Thurston in 2017, but that’s what made him so sad.

Once again, Queensland pulled the rabbit out of the hat. Found life when it should have been dead.

Of course, there have been times when NSW “did Queensland”, such as in 2019 when James Tedesco won the series with a last-minute try. But nine times out of 10, when the odds should be impossible, it’s the Maroons who have earned a reputation for digging deep and doing the unthinkable.

After ending the streak with two sweeping victories last year, New South Wales manager Brad Fittler suggested his team could be on the cusp of their own dynasty, much like the one run by Smith, Thurston & Co. earlier in this century.

But anyone who sincerely believed this was living a lie. If Wayne Bennett’s amazing back-to-the-wall victory in 2020 hasn’t proved that Queensland’s morale can’t be held back long enough to create what constitutes a “dynasty” these days, then Wednesday night’s victory certainly did. this is. .

Jones’ expression showed that he knew what a great opportunity New South Wales had missed.

Stupid mistakes at the wrong time – whether it was missed shots, stupid unloading without a look, or dirty ball play – they killed the Blues in the end. Bye football fans rave about ‘greatest game of all time’ at the Origin level, Fittler didn’t buy it.

He lamented his team’s mistakes and poor decision making, stating in the post-match press conference that with the Blues so far from their best record, the decider could in no way be classified as the greatest Origin competition we’ve ever seen.

When fatigue set in and the pressure rose to 11, it no longer mattered how many combinations of Penrith the visitors had in the park.

They defended with great courage but could not match Queensland where it mattered most – in those small moments and small one percent moments that ultimately separate Origin winners from losers.

And Andrew Jones knows it.

Originally published as The sad truth about Joey’s irritable outburst live on TV Origin