Dean Ritchie: ‘Sorry Queensland, I was wrong’
Queensland, I was wrong. As gut-wrenching as that is to admit, I'm sorry. I was a dunce for doubting you.
Initially in The Sunday Telegraph, then The Daily Telegraph and finally on the Big Sports Breakfast radio show, I repeatedly claimed this was Queensland's worst side in 40 years of State of Origin.
Clearly, you're not.
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The Maroons have beaten NSW 2-1 with a side that will forever be etched into State of Origin history and folklore.
I wasn't being a smart alec, nor chasing click bait. I genuinely believed this Queensland side was inferior to any other Maroons side that has played since Origin began way back in 1980.
There is no doubt NSW had a stronger side but Origin isn't won on paper - they are claimed through a combination of courage, camaraderie and commitment.
This side might be unfashionable but they are also unbelievable.
You'd think after reporting on rugby league for 31 years I would know better than to dismiss or smear Queensland.
After my comments, Wayne Bennett said I had "problems" and should be drug tested for calling his mob the weakest side in 40 years.
Maybe old Wayne is right. This is my mistake and I will own it. Never again will I question Queensland's spirit, ability and depth.
I don't like you, Queensland. Never have, never will, but I have to admire you. I stand here embarrassed and humiliated.
Queensland, I ask for your forgiveness. I'm off now to see the doctor, My drug test awaits.
Originally published as Dean Ritchie: 'Sorry Queensland, I was wrong'