As the NSW Blues take on QLD Maroons for the 2017 decider tonight, one can’t help but feel a lack of excitement in Sydney. Where is the hype? For Blues fans, they can’t help but feel that this is déjà vu.
NSW go into this game as favourites with inspirational half Johnathan Thurston sidelined for the rest of the year with a shoulder injury. On paper, without JT, the Blues look the goods.
Queensland will be feeling confident as they take the momentum and the home advantage into the decider. They got the player mix right for Game 2 with the likes of Billy Slater returning and Valentine Holmes & Coen Hess earning debuts.
The selection of Ben Hunt on the bench & the infamous Daly Cherry-Evans non-selection has raised some question marks and Queensland will rue this mistake tonight. However, I’m tipping Cameron Munster to thrive on debut as the Queensland 5/8.
This is New South Wales’ greatest chance. This match will determine if the Blues can start their own period of dominance or fall away into the shadows once more. On paper, the likes of James Tedesco, James Maloney & Andrew Fifita are some of the best players in their position and this Blues team could be great for years to come.
But they can’t think about that. They can’t think about what could’ve been in Game 2 or what could be in the next few years. The time is now.
There are a few statistics in the Blues favour – teams winning Game 1 have won the series 74% of the time & the Blues have won 11 of their 13 series’ after winning Game 1. However, the Maroons have a 75% record in series deciders.
It’s time for the young Blues to step up and end this reign once and for all.