•   
  •   

SportBlues band of brothers give Mitch his Pearce de resistance

16:16  10 july  2019
16:16  10 july  2019 Source:   smh.com.au

Comment: Mitchell Pearce and Glenn Maxwell loom as State of Origin and Cricket World Cup scapegoats

Comment: Mitchell Pearce and Glenn Maxwell loom as State of Origin and Cricket World Cup scapegoats The gap between Escape Goat and #GOAT can be wafer thin in the modern sporting world of high expectations but even lower attention spans, writes Richard Hinds.

Video provided by Wide World of Sports

On Monday night, the jumpers NSW players would wear in the State of Origin decider were laid out on a table in the team room at the Pullman Hotel.

Coach Brad Fittler had given his players a message earlier in the day, asking them to consider what it meant to be pulling on the sky-blue jersey for such an important match.

When the time came, they had to share those feelings with the rest of the group.

When it was Mitchell Pearce’s turn to collect the No.7, the room fell silent. Pearce’s bottom lip quivered, and he struggled to get out the words he’d prepared in his head.

State of Origin: Mitchell Pearce called into NSW side with Nathan Cleary ruled out

State of Origin: Mitchell Pearce called into NSW side with Nathan Cleary ruled out Mitchell Pearce will play for NSW in the State of Origin decider after Nathan Cleary withdrew due to a right ankle injury on Wednesday. Cleary has been in doubt since sustaining a high-grade lateral ankle sprain in Origin II. The Penrith Panthers playmaker was ruled out after running at training for the first time. NSW coach Brad Fittler confirmed Pearce's inclusion to The Daily Telegraph. “Pearce will be in camp tonight,” Fittler said. “Nathan Cleary is out.” © Mark Kolbe/Getty Images Mitchell Pearce of the Newcastle Knights will return to the NSW Blues Origin team.

He’s not the emotional type but it was hardly surprising. After the Blues’ loss in the 2017 series decider, most thought he’d played his last Origin.

Then it was his teammates’ turn to speak. Many of them spoke about Pearce. “We want to win this match for you, Mitch,” was the general tone of what many said, according to those in the room.

It was an extraordinary gesture for someone who hadn’t played in the first two matches; who hadn’t played with many of these players; who had been kicked in the teeth time and time again when NSW lost.

Blues band of brothers give Mitch his Pearce de resistance © AAP Victory is sweet for MItchell Pearce and the Blues. Last night, before 82,565 fans at ANZ Stadium, Pearce finally buried one of the game’s most fabled hoodoos, winning his first Origin series — in his 19th match for his state — as the Blues triumphed 26-20 against Queensland.

Mitchell Pearce backed for Origin redemption

Mitchell Pearce backed for Origin redemption After losing seven series in a row versus Queensland Maroons, Mitchell Pearce's NSW Blues recall gives him another shot at Origin glory.

Having been parachuted into the side to replace the injured Nathan Cleary, Pearce wasn’t brilliant but tradesman-like, fighting and scraping like his life depended on it.

He did what he had to do.

But this was fullback James Tedesco’s match. It was his series, really. Much like last year.

With just seconds to go, with the scores locked at 20-all, after winger Blake Ferguson had danced along the sideline and managed to hook a one-handed pass inside, Tedesco scored in the corner ... and the entire state of NSW exploded.

It was 8-8 at half-time and as both teams retreated up the tunnel Maroons enforcer Josh McGuire barked at any Blues player within earshot.

He had good reason to be cocky.

The Blues had started $1.28 favourites with the bookmakers — the shortest price since the 1995 series when Paul Vautin took control of a ragtag Queensland side missing most of its stars because of Super League.

Blues lose Curnow for a month in AFL

Blues lose Curnow for a month in AFL Carlton star Charlie Curnow will miss up to a month of the AFL season after sustaining a medial ligament injury against Fremantle.

Instead of meekly surrendering as predicted, the Maroons hijacked the match just like they did in that series 24 years ago.

Prop Josh Papalli went mad, makeshift fullback Cameron Munster stepped like a ghost and Corey Norman looked nothing like the Origin roadkill he was expected to become.

He set Munster free time and time again and then put in a perfect grubber for backrower Felise Kaufusi to score the opening try.

The Blues had trawled through video of Norman, noticing how he favoured his left shoulder when defending because of his injured right shoulder.

They went in with the plan of running Tyson Frizell at him.

But, typical of their first half, they couldn’t work the play his way. Norman made just four tackles for the half and missed none.

Pictures: Best pictures from State of Origin Game III 2019

Blues band of brothers give Mitch his Pearce de resistance

The flow of play wasn’t aided by referee Gerard Sutton waiting for the biggest match of the year to make it all about him, blowing 10 penalties in the first 28 minutes.

Admittedly, the two penalties Queensland gave away on their own tryline were justified.

Blues claim Origin series with final-minute try

Blues claim Origin series with final-minute try The Blues claimed the 2019 State of Origin series 2-1 after a thrilling final-minute James Tedesco try sealing victory.

It allowed the Blues to finally crack the Maroons defence with prop Paul Vaughan crashing through. Without them, it may not have come.

In the second half, the referees put the whistle away and the match eventually opened up into an all-time Origin classic.

The big Maroons forwards quickly grew tired. Eventually, the Blues’ speed men found them out.

First, Tedesco scored in the corner. Soon after, Damien Cook skipped around Papalli who had just come back and then turned Munster inside out.

But Queensland don’t stop. They are the Living Dead. They are the White Walkers. A team of Night Kings.

When McGuire bounced over, bringing the Maroons back within six points, they were exactly where they want to be: throwing the ball to the edges, spooking NSW with every touch.

Ethan Lowe charged down a Maloney kick and then Papalli score. Then Lowe slotted the pressure conversion.

This time, though, NSW held on.

They won this series amid a ripple of criticism over the way Fittler picked and ran the team.

Privately, some NRL coaches dismissed Fittler as a giggling sideline commentator and not much of a coach at all.

None of it really matters now, though.

The Blues have won their first back-to-back series since 2004-05 on his watch.

Pictures: State of Origin's greatest moments

Blues band of brothers give Mitch his Pearce de resistance
Blues band of brothers give Mitch his Pearce de resistance
Blues band of brothers give Mitch his Pearce de resistance
Blues band of brothers give Mitch his Pearce de resistance
Blues band of brothers give Mitch his Pearce de resistance
Blues band of brothers give Mitch his Pearce de resistance
Blues band of brothers give Mitch his Pearce de resistance
Blues band of brothers give Mitch his Pearce de resistance
Blues band of brothers give Mitch his Pearce de resistance
Blues band of brothers give Mitch his Pearce de resistance
Blues band of brothers give Mitch his Pearce de resistance
Blues band of brothers give Mitch his Pearce de resistance
Blues band of brothers give Mitch his Pearce de resistance
Blues band of brothers give Mitch his Pearce de resistance
Blues band of brothers give Mitch his Pearce de resistance
Blues band of brothers give Mitch his Pearce de resistance
Blues band of brothers give Mitch his Pearce de resistance
Blues band of brothers give Mitch his Pearce de resistance

That was unfathomable only a few years ago — about as improbable as Mitchell Pearce being the one to help deliver it.

Read more

Shawn Mendes and Camila Cabello appear to confirm couple status on cosy brunch date.
Shawn Mendes and Camila Cabello appeared to confirm rumours they're a couple by stepping out for a cosy brunch date together on Sunday afternoon. 

—   Share news in the SOC. Networks

Topical videos:

usr: 16
This is interesting!