Jeff Dickinson-Fox reviews the campaign which saw Melbourne Storm crowned premiers in 2017.
4 days ago
It has been reported that Jonathon Thurston is first choice five eight for the Queensland State of Origin side.
If that is so, he should be advised to leave the headgear at home.
With his headgear on, he is easier to sight in the defensive line and would be like a neon sign to the attacking NSW forward pack as they look for him in the 'D' line to sap his energy, break the line and set up off-loads through him.
His positional play in defence is a problem, his tackling technique is a problem and his 'one on one' tackles are poor.
If Berrigan is selected at halfback, which all indications seem to point to, then he has to have a confident, secure and experienced five eight alongside him. He is not a natural halfback and has problems at club level if his five eight is not up to the grade.
Thurston may be confident with the ball in his hand with the Bulldogs, but his defence in a State of Origin game will cause difficulties to Queensland when defending their own half. This will escalate to cause problems with Berrigan and his five eight by limiting their attacking options down the other end of the park.
Jonathon Thurston is a good, young player and he has been noticed since he made his debut several years back with the Dogs lower grades, he will have a long future in the game.
But think for a moment. He will be required to acquit himself in the role as Queensland's State of Origin five eight - a position that was once held by Wally Lewis!