QLD v Sharks
QLD 30 def Sharks 25
Halftime QLD 14 , Sharks 15.
Went along to the game as it was a mateís birthday and I know someone working the bar. I did predict a QLD win although I was expecting a better margin. I donít believe I have seen Ben Tune play a better game in his career. It wasnít just the Tuney slide in front of the hill for a try, setting up two other tires, the numerous breaks; offloads; and drawing and passing skill that he displayed. It was the organisation and confidence that he installed in the mid field that the whole team and in particular Sailor that he should be commended for.
I saw Sailorís debut with Tune at OC. Tune is a fantastic influence and mentor for Sailor. He organises him in attack and defence and Sailor knows that he is going to get the ball from Tune when itís the right time to get the ball. Sailor had a superb game and the confidence in his playing was unbelievable in comparison to the rest of the season. Tune all game was giving Dell little hand signals and comments all game. This tutelage is something Sailor hasnít had since switching codes and it must be of great personal disappointment for him. If this tuition can continue for the rest of the season then it would be a very solid Wallaby combination.
The other telling factor was Flatleyís return to 5/8. Although not a brilliant game from him, yet again the experience, confidence and organisation he brings to the side can not be underrated. The way the team fell apart in the last minutes without Flatley was there for all to witness. Although his standard was slipping towards the end of the game, his replacement didnít bring the same level of organisation to the attack and the whole dynamics faltered. Although Voodoo doll did make a couple of good tackles, he is a fullback and not a 5/8.
QLD has many, many problems still and the one in particular is the panic and attempt to score a try every time they touch the ball rather than using patience and score the try in the next couple of phases. Despite the numerous breaks and the 4 tries, there could have been a lot more as the midfield opened up the Sharks backline just about every time they touched the ball. Admittedly the Sharks haven't been doing too good this season so I shouldn't get to carried away.
The moral of the story is just because the players are under 21 and inexperienced it doesnít mean they are the best players to use. The experience and confidence the older players, and not just the backs, install in a side shouldnít be underestimated. Miller you are a complete goose.
Rudi Vedelago partnered well with Sharpe and their combination and the loss of the other 8 rumoured QLD players heading west next year is going to be a telling blow as Iím sure that Mitchell will savour their collective experience and not waste it.
In regards to the sharks. The move of Bret Russel to flyhalf was a brilliant strategy. He was in sensational form all night for the sharks and he is an exceptional player. He was beating the first man (Flatley and
Bring me the head of Miller!