Sport

NSW not too blue

Melbourne Storm assistant coach Kevin Walters (left) dismisses talk the NSW Blues are in crisis approaching the first State of Origin. Photo: Scott Barbour/Getty Images
Melbourne Storm assistant coach Kevin Walters (left) dismisses talk the NSW Blues are in crisis approaching the first State of Origin. Photo: Scott Barbour/Getty Images

A FAMILIAR sound is in the air coming from south of the border, as there seems to be every year about this time.

It is New South Welshmen bickering about State of Origin, ahead of Monday's announcement of teams for game one in Melbourne on May 23.

From Ricky Stuart complaining about the venue to former players and a host of club coaches weighing in on selection issues, it seems nothing has changed.

The whining from south of the border echoes even louder because of the lack of noise north of the border.

When great leaders make way, in football and politics, it usually creates a void that takes time to fill.

However Queenslanders may well be asking Darren Who, given the ease with which Johnathan Thurston filled the number six jersey in the Anzac Test match.

But former Origin great and Ipswich product Kevin Walters wasn't fully buying into the 'Blues in turmoil' routine.

"Queensland is not without its dramas after a few injuries at the weekend," he said.

"The NSW selectors have a harder job than Queensland but I don't think it's going to affect them too much."

Walters did not think Stuart's rant about giving away home ground advantage in Origin I was a sign of a panic either.

"Maybe it's a ploy from Stuart," Walters said.

"Perhaps he's trying to create some diversion in the NSW team.

"It's still a strong squad. I've never seen a weak NSW team.

"It's a huge advantage for them if NSW can win the first game."

If they do, it could be then that the Queenslanders start to miss Lockyer.

"Locky's leadership will be missed, and his presence," Walters said. "But the guys in there are very experienced.

"We won't miss too much in leadership with blokes like Cameron Smith, Billy Slater and Cooper Cronk in there.

"And players like Sam Thaiday, Justin Hodges and Ben Hannant are all playing good footy."

While speculation surrounds who NSW will pick in the halves and at hooker, Walters does not think those are the areas this year's series will be decided.

"Queensland have dominated in the last few years because of their forwards," he said. "Hope- fully they can again this year. They allow Slater, Smith, Cronk and Thurston to do their stuff."

That doesn't mean forwards making breaks, creating offloads and pulling off spectacular shoulder charges. Rather, it is doing the little things well from start to finish, in spite of the pressure and exhaustion.

That's what marks an Origin player from the rest, according to Walters. "The intensity of the game and the pressure is definitely different to anything else you'll experience," Walters said. "It is about handling that as an individual.

"Queensland have won so many times over the years on the final play of the game. So while the first play of the game is very important the last play of the game is just as important.

"You don't have to be a superstar to be a good Origin player.

"Players like Dallas Johnson and Ashley Harrison knuckle down and get the job done."

Topics:  football, origin, sport, state of origin



Meet then beat the Kick the Kilos leader

MACHINE: Wayne Schnitzerling is at the top of the Kick the Kilos leaderboard.

Kick some Kilos and get competitive.

Mid-air terror for Warwick journo

Sophie Lester

Warwick girl's frightening flight emergency

Mum and two girls escape car as it bursts into flames

REPORTS have come through about a car on fire in a Warwick street.

Local Partners

9000 reasons to support our community clubs

Community clubs are good at what they do. They are not so good at telling the world about what they do, as Clubs Queensland CEO Doug Flockhart explains.


Our funny bachelor bows out

The Bachelorette contestant Aaron Brady from Golden Beach. Supplied by Channel 10.

COAST marketing executive eliminated from The Bachelorette.

Homer Simpson thanks Australia during Opera House visit

Homer Simpson visits the Sydney Opera House.

ANIMATION favourite gets attacked by seagulls in viral video.

Channel 9 orders second season of Doctor Doctor

Rodger Corser stars in the TV series Doctor Doctor.

RURAL medical drama finds a loyal following.

Katy Perry gets naked to encourage people to vote

Katy Perry in Funny Or Die sketch

Katy Perry has stripped naked for a comedy video

Jogging Tom Hanks crashes wedding in Central Park

Tom Hanks stopped for a selfie with this bride and groom

MOVIE REVIEW: Storks delivers family fun

A scene from the movie Storks.

ANIMATION can be hit or miss but when it hits, it hits hard.

$40million hotel, shops development project for Mackay

Mt Pleasant hotel and retirement accommodation, proposed at 194-202 Malcomson St.

$40m development to take Mackay to 'the next level'

Rural properties expected to soar as investors seek income

Rural properties are should become highly sought after

Property 200m from ocean selling for just over $100K

BEACHCOMBER PARK: Work has started on a new $19.2 million development at Toogoom.

The estate's developer is offering huge discounts for early buyers.

UPDATE: Former rodeo champ's sale rained out, now back on

Larkhill local Ken Consiglio is having an auction of most of the things on his property.

'People kept showing up and we had to turn them away'

First stages of $25 million housing development underway

New development on Madsen Rd - The Springs.

The blocks of land are much bigger than usual

Couple build their own 'tiny house' for $45k

Holly Bowen and Oli Bucher built their "tiny house" themselves, only hiring a plumber and an electrician. Photo/supplied

The house, which is built on a trailer and can be towed.