THERE was an instance early in Origin I when pocket referee Shayne Hayne called a penalty for throwing the ball away – and fellow whistler Ashley Klein ignored it and played on.
It illustrated that Origin is still “different” – but the striking charge levelled at Paul Gallen shows it’s getting less “different” each year.
The stark fact that a flurry of punches from Gallen aimed at Nate Myles’ head was hailed as “a great Origin moment” by Laurie Daley sums up the bloodlust the series continues to generate.
It’s less blood, if no less lust, than at any time in the past 33 years and that will continue to be the trend as those who were part of its brutal past retire from being referees, and from being referees’ bosses.
That neither coach even bothered to contact the current match officials’ boss, Daniel Anderson, before last night’s game indicates they are not going to protest about this steady gentrification of Origin, which will eventually bring it completely into line with club football.
Cameron Smith admitted at the post-match media conference that the Maroons simply adjusted to the faster rucks in the second half.
We all have to adjust to the idea it’s not 1985 anymore and unfettered violence is no longer the way to go.
BEING a ‘beat’ reporter or roundsman has its quirks – and one of them is that you assume your story each day with come from a set number of yarn ‘types’.
As a rugby league reporter, that usually means an injury, foul play, some great athletic feat or a colourful quote.
The positive to this is that we can pump out these sorts of stories pretty quickly, and that we have a good grasp of the back story (and spelling) associated with the 500 or so people we write about each day.
The downside is that when something occurs that is completely outside that prism, we are often taken unawares and can underplay an otherwise newsworthy event.
Thankyou, Russell Packer.
To be honest, I was far more enamored with the “Lets Gone Warriors” sign on Monday night than with Packer’s piddle. During the match, I only saw stills of the incident and even when Packer confirmed his guilt on Twitter, the whole thing seemed like an amusing sideshow to this hack.
Alas, people took real offence and it was deemed worthy of a $15,000 fine. Subsequent events indicate it belonged closer to the top of the match report.
On facebook, former Western Suburbs and Illawarra halfback Josh White admitted his brother did one better – or worse – than a ‘number one’ running onto the field once.
COMMENTS time, going over stories from the past week and starting with last week’s Discord.