Anthony Albanese, Scott Morrison share Accor Stadium President’s Suite

He couldn’t hide his bias late in the game, yelling out ‘Go Munster’ as the five-eighth threatened to run the length of the field against the run of play.

He can be forgiven – he is a Queensland assistant coach after all.

Should NSW have been given one more play?

There were quite a few confused NSW fans after the game wondering why their team wasn’t given one last crack at the Maroons defensive line before referee Ashley Klein blew the full-time whistle.

It appeared as though isaah yeowho fell just short of the try line in the dying seconds, got to his feet to play the ball before the siren despite the Channel Nine game clock expiring before he got to his feet.

However, the siren and Channel Nine game clocks are irrelevant in determining full time, with the referee blowing time on the game with the assistance of a countdown from the timekeeper in his ear piece.

During the 2020 end-of-season State of Origin series there was a similar drama in the match at the Adelaide Oval, when then referee Gerard Sutton blew full time before the siren sounded.

NSW were also the victims on that occasion as well. The NRL justified it as a slight difference between the official game clock and the timer being used by venue operators.

It was later revealed that the play-the-ball cleared the ruck before Sutton blew full time, however head of football Graham Annesley declared the game is over the moment the timekeeper tells the referee it’s full time.

“The players don’t stop until they hear the whistle, but playing on after the timekeeper tells the referee full time is not something that should happen either,” Annesley told The Herald at the time.

The Munny play

NSW bench utility Stephen Crichton knew what Cameron Munster was going to try and do. The Blues had spoken about it all week, even running drills aimed at nullifying the one-on-one stealing ability of the Queensland No.6.

Unfortunately, that didn’t help Crichton with one of his very first involvements in his Origin career, losing the ball in a tackle from Munster.

“I had it in the back of my head that it was going to happen. I wasn’t protecting the ball as much as I should have,” Crichton said. “It’s my fault. I should have held on to the ball properly.”

Thurston shines again

One of the biggest cheers of the night came early in the second half as a paper plane made its way from the top of the western grandstand towards the surface.

The crowd were willing the plane over the fence, which it managed to do, but the icing on the cake was the one-handed catch from Queensland assistant coach Johnathan Thurstonwho hurled the plane back into the crowd after a round of applause for his snare.

Cleary comes in for attention

Coach Penrith Ivan Cleary recently complained about the treatment of his son Nathan Cleary after kicks. He wouldn’t have been happy with some of the tackles on the No.7 on Wednesday night.

Nathan Cleary is wrapped up by Lindsay Collins after getting a kick away.Credit:Getty

The referees are happy to let a lot slide in Origin, which is the way we like it.

But the Queenslanders managed to get to Cleary regularly while his bodyguard Yeo was off the field and unable to protect him with the screens he normally runs.

Daley, Lockyer pick best on ground

They may have been stripped of their title as Australian Kangaroos selectors last week, however Laurie Daley and Darren Lockyer – in partnership with national coach Mal Meninga – retained the honor of selecting the man of the match in game one.

Nine gear up for Origin II

Channel Nine, the publishers of this masthead, are working on a special behind the scenes piece to run in the lead up to Origin II in Perth in a couple of weeks’ time.

Today host Karl Stefanovic was given special access to the Maroons, while 2GB’s Ben Fordham walked over to Accor Stadium with the Blues. It should make for compelling viewing in the coming weeks.

Simmons addresses Blues

Train NSW hooker Royce Simmons spoke to the Blues players in the lead-up to the game. His battle with Alzheimer’s has been well documented.

His story is an emotional one and something that had a major impact on the players. Simmons spoke about cherishing the moment because life was fleeting and could change in an instant.

No blues for Addo-Carr

Even being dumped by NSW coach Brad Fittler for the series opener couldn’t dampen the enthusiasm of Josh Addo Carr. The Bulldogs winger was in the crowd at Accor Stadium supporting his former teammates.


Train Bulldogs and Blues players Trent Hodkinson and Josh Morris (we think) were also seen walking the hallways on the corporate floors of the Olympic venue.

Fans miss kick-off

There were plenty of frustrated fans outside Accor Stadium before kick-off. A large continent of fans weren’t able to get into the stadium in time for kick-off. There were similar issues after the Barcelona vs A-League All-Stars football friendly a couple of weeks ago.

Unfortunately Sydneysiders ignored advice to catch public transport and traffic was a nightmare with 80,000 fans converging on Sydney Olympic Park.

Stream the NRL Premiership 2022 live and free on 9Now.

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