Leading into Origin...
1. FARAH IS BETTER THAN ENNIS: NSW SELECTORS, MEDIA, IDIOTS DON'T CARE
Leading into the Friday night game the big angle in the press was the choice between Farah and Ennis for NSW hooker. In the real world this isn't a choice. Farah is one of the the top ten players in the game. Ennis is a journeyman hooker at his fourth club because he couldn't get a regular game at the other three. Farah leads Ennis is runs, metres, tackles, try assists, is a better kicker and passer, and has more vision, creativity and versatility. Ennis leads Farah in missed tackles. And something the media calls “mongrel”, which I think means he gives away stupid penalties. On Friday Canterbury won and Ennis scored two tries, yet if you watched the game Farah was superior playing with a reserve grade pack and without the ball. So expect Ennis to play for NSW then.
After the Origin team selection...
NSW (with my predictions in brackets)
1. Gidley (14)
2. B. Morris (2)
3. Cooper (3)
4. Tahu (5)
5. Hayne (1)
6. Lyon (6)
7. Kimmorley (7)
8. Perry (8)
9. Ennis (9 – should be Farah)
10. Weyman (10)
11. Waterhouse (16)
12. Creagh (12)
13. Watmough (15)
14. Lewis (13)
15. Learoyd-Lahrs (did not pick)
16. White (did not pick)
17. Idris (did not pick)
So I got 14/17 putting myself in the shoes of the selectors, and even then a were heap out of position. If I'm being honest I would've picked maybe half of them. The NSW selectors continue to amaze with their idiocy. Here are four problems:
1. Gidley is the greatest utility/impact player in the comp, so lets play him for 80 minutes at fullback. In doing so we'll play the most unpredictable player in the league (Hayne) out of position.
2. You have Lyon out of position too, although to be fair the only other options are Campese and Sutton, and both were ignored in City-Country. But would you pick a player there who said he prefers to play centre? Centre being a lower pressure position, suggesting weakness. I don't recall Timmins shirking from playing 5/8 for NSW when he was a centre/lock. Then again, Lyon has history. He didn't want to play at all last year. Add that to him abandoning Parra years ago. I think he's the exact opposite of the person you want beside you in the trenches. Anyway, Lyon will be partnered by Kimmorley, a man ignored for years when he was playing well for throwing one intercept pass and now considered the answer while playing shit at age 57.
3. As for Idris on the bench, he's not even the best centre at his club! He can't tackle either.
4. I've also got to question the staying power in the forwards. Love Creagh playing, as he works well on the left with Coops and Morris. Think Watmough is a great runner too. But between them, they make about 45 tackles a game. Ennis doesn't tackle much either, and despite his “mongrel” he misses more than he hits. Perry is a low workrate, (allegedly) high-impact player who won't play more than 50 minutes. White and TLL are similar impact players too. Basically Weyman is going to look ever older after convering for these work-shirkers, and Waterhouse and Lewis are going to have to pick up some slack too which will stifling their attacking impact. Really needed to pick Gallen, Stewart, or even Hindmarsh, just to make the tackles.
But besides all that I think the selectors who have lost the last four series did a good job.
NSW lost Game 1 28-24 (it was 28-14 with seven minutes left), and lost the series 3-0. They picked just five players in all three matches. One of them was Michael Ennis.