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21st Column 2021

25/June/2021
Top- Can young gun Reece Walsh save the series for Qld?

With Queensland naming their Origin 2 team this week for Sundays must win game at the Suncorp Stadium Brisbane, like most Queenslanders, I find some of the selection a little confusing, to say the least. Look, we got schooled by an excellent Blues team, who looks more like the Avengers compared our Powder Puffs, who ran out a few weeks ago. Keeping Capewell in the Centres creates more questions than my eating habit, and I am not sure Kyle Feldt did enough to hold his wing spot after looking more statue than state player. Looks like our hands were forced in the number 9 jersey when both Grant and Mahoney were ruled out, but the biggest talking point of them all was the selection of teen sensation Reece Walsh. In my opinion, if he is good enough, he is old enough, and let me tell you, he is more than capable of making this game his own. After only 7 NRL games, he has enjoyed a rise like no other teen since Justin Bieber played a banjo at Madison Square Garden. I really want to say Queensland will win, and that is where my heart lays, but if we are to be realistic, NSW backs in Mitchell, Turbo, and Teddy, well, this looks like Mission Impossible climbing Mt Everest twice in one day with no shoes.  Queensland will be a better side than the one that got pumped in Game 1, and young Reece Walsh will have a hand in making us great again, but I am unsure that game will happen this coming Sunday, June 27.  In a classic encounter, Qld will get up barely. If NSW win, well it will be Blue murder and it will TV off near halftime. Come on boys, let’s get this done, go Qld.

Queensland Maroons Game 2 Team, Brisbane Suncorp Stadium 2021

1. Reece Walsh – New Zealand Warriors

2. Valentine Holmes – North Queensland Cowboys

3. Kurt Capewell – Penrith Panthers

4. Dane Gagai – South Sydney Rabbitohs

5. Kyle Feldt – North Queensland Cowboys

6. Cameron Munster – Melbourne Storm

7. Daly Cherry-Evans – Manly Warringah Sea Eagles

8. Christian Welch – Melbourne Storm

9. Andrew McCullough – St George Illawarra Dragons

10. Josh Papalii – Canberra Raiders

11. Jai Arrow – South Sydney Rabbitohs

12. Felise Kaufusi – Melbourne Storm

13. Tino Fa’asuamaleaui – Gold Coast Titans

14. Ben Hunt – St George Illawarra Dragons

15. Moeaki Fotuaika – Gold Coast Titans

16. David Fifita – Gold Coast Titans

17. Francis Molo – North Queensland Cowboys

18. Coen Hess – North Queensland Cowboys

19. Ronaldo Mulitalo – Cronulla Sutherland Sharks

The weekend CDRL saw the Tully Tigers travel to Cairns to take on the Ivanhoe Knights of Smithfield, in what turned out to be a bitter drive home when none of our boys came back with two competition points. It was a timely wake up call for the Tigers 18s, as they suffered their worst loss of the season by going down 54-16.  If there was a time to learn a lesson to make us better, we can take that trip on Saturday arvo and turn it into something that can work in our favour for the remainder of 2021. One thing I can promise is that they will be back stronger come Saturday at the Den in Tully. The Reserve Grade game was looking very promising for our guys until some costly errors snuck in. Coach, Steven Barrett, was straight in his assessment of the game, “We made a good platform in the middle, only to let our defence bring us down”, relayed Barrett. “Hopefully, in our next game we can have a higher completion rate. Our best players were Tony Feseetai and Jahmal Tomarra”. With 78 minutes in front under their belt in the A-grade game, the Tigers were leading, only to let them score and once again break the hearts of all who wore the gold by going down 26-24. It was a devastating loss, but the boys were upbeat about the next few weeks, “If we just keep working hard, the tide will eventually turn. It’s hard, but that belief has to still remain our strength”. It has been a challenging few years for Paul Ketchell, and it comes without saying that having not won a Cairns District Rugby League game in almost two years has been the biggest test this proud club has been through in 20 years of footy. When we finally do break that duck by getting a win, then we can get rid of the monkey off our back that is now the size of King Kong and get on with being a strong proud club once again.

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