Sat 29 March 2003
Referee: P. Marshall
QLD 35 : NSW 23
9 : 13 half time
What can I say without gloating too much? Not a lot! However, with gloating, plenty.
Aaahh QLD has yet again raised the Bob Tempelton trophy in triumph over the battered and bruised carcass of yet another NSW Super 12 campaign. Year after year the QLD side is written off by all the experts due to their form, or lack of it, and year after year they arise for this one game alone and make sure that QLD children can sleep safe at night knowing that the evil southerners have been vanquished again.
T. Kefu summed it up after the victory when he looked Kerns in the eye and stated “it isn’t just another Super 12 game”, it means everything. Perhaps NSW would have the same emotion or understand that if they ever won a game!
Anyway on to the game and the preview included an interview with Latham who was very down cast and emotional. Once I saw this I knew he was in for a blinder! Every time he has an interview like that you know he is going to do his best to destroy the opposition.
On to the game and it opens up with a couple of how’s your father? The call on the second incident was pathetic but did highlight the fact that Marshall and the linesmen were going to be pedantic little individuals. Which was highlighted by the penalty try and then the disallowed try by Burke as someone had taken Valentine out.
Once again the whole of the QLD side lifted their intensity for the match. (now if they could just do this every game) They even started cleaning out a bit better (however, the ball is still coming out woefully slow) but for a change they were very competitive in everything except for the rolling mauls. However, the pick and drives were working well.
The first half was a traditional start and ended with Flatley nailing all his efforts while the penalty try had kept NSW in the hunt and put them in the lead. Latham had however, been the stand out. And what I couldn’t get over was the fact that NSW would continually kick the ball and not have a line of defenders thundering after the ball? Oh well Latham loved it and was continually making them pay for it, either through blistering attacks or driving the ball over the line into NSW territory.
Hardman finally got subbed early in the second half after some more butchered lineouts in enemy territory. When McIsaacs came on I noticed a dramatic improvement in the scrums while the lineouts weren’t perfect, the effort around the park has been awarded with a starting position this week.
The disallowed try for Burke was a highlight. Arrgh last year he got called for offside then this year it is disallowed. I am still wondering what he is doing a OC though. And if you compared Herbert’s efforts in the same spot I know who has the edge.
Latham’s eyes started to resemble a day old kitten but he must have had better vision than that Daredevil as he as like a magnet for that ball. It was good to see him back in full flight as he has been a bit tentative in the last couple of weeks since the start of the black eyes versus the Crusaders.
Rudi Vedelago had a great game, in fact all the second rows played very well, once he came in for Cockbain and he scored the first try by highlighting the soft NSW defence. Then from the kick off Sailor brushed off even more feeble defence and scooted over for a try. At this stage the commentators starting orgasming about that Sailor had finally delivered on his promises.
Latham also cashed in for a try but it was the final try by S.Kefu that was beautiful to watch and secured the bonus point by scoring all four tries in the second stanza. To me it symbolised the whole QLD and NSW attitude towards the match: the tireless effort to keep going and make sure everything you can possible do gets done versus the capitulation once things go against you.
Until next year QLD have the bragging rights over NSW yet again. When once again NSWRU will pretend that the game doesn’t matter during the lead-up to the match but it is summed up best by knuckles “NSW play for the Wallabies jumper while in QLD we play for the QLD jersey”.
Alternatively back in the box B****. And who said one game doesn’t make the season.
Now for QLD to disrupt the run into the finals for the rest of the teams. Its going to be fun starting this Friday with the Hurricanes crashing back to earth after the Reds put paid to their longest winning streak.