Jeff Dickinson-Fox reviews the campaign which saw Melbourne Storm crowned premiers in 2017.
5 days ago
As a passionate Queensland supporter I want the Maroons to win every series, but even more so as a fanatical rugby league follower, ultimately I want to see a fiercely fought battle between two great teams.
For the greater good of the game I am willing to sacrifice my allegiances to help the NSW selectors because quite frankly, they worry me. And my concerns are justified given they have already put the Blues behind eight-ball by stubbornly sticking with the same coaching arrangements rather than adopt the hugely successful Queensland model.
But you can't change what's set in concrete; you can only have an influence on the future.
All that remains is for those charged with the responsibility in selecting the 17 players to wear the sky-blue Guernsey, put their pride to the side, absorb my advice then act accordingly. You can't get any fairer than that, surely? An arch-rival from the enemy camp extending the hand of friendship. We can even shake on it, and no you don't have to count your fingers afterwards.
Former great Peter "Too Tough" Tunks famously says of Queenslanders "the lie, they cheat, they steal". Mr Tunks, a member of the star-studded panel on Radio 2SM's superb program, Talkin' Sport, oddly enough is not far off the mark albeit he has got his wires crossed.
In the land where it really is "beautiful one day and perfect the next" - they "lie" on the best beaches in the country, "cheat" an early death by living in an idyllic environment and "steel" themselves for the challenges ahead. Could be the reasons New South Welshmen are abandoning their state of birth in droves and moving to paradise.
Enough of the pleasantries. It is at this point where I release the names of players that the NSW selectors would be foolish to overlook. Blues supporters desperate for success should take particular notice, then band together and if necessary march on NSW headquarters and demand that the selectors heed my advice.
FULLBACK: If he overcomes his misdemeanour and re-produces his form of last year then Brett Stewart is unchallenged. Kurt Gidley would do a wonderful job but his amazing versatility makes him the world's best interchange player.