Meninga’s Pickle

Mal Meninga has a bit of a problem. How could that be though? He did find the winning formula after all; the ultimate team that can’t be beaten because of their unstoppable team work and combinations. Then came 2014; the inevitable end of the streak. QLD were beaten by a much younger and stronger team and they are in danger of it happening again and again if they don’t start blooding their own dangerous youngsters. If the Maroons had Cooper Cronk healthy for the entire series they very well could have won State of Origin again in 2014 but they didn’t. The fact that they can’t win without him highlights that the winning formula isn’t the team, it’s the just the greatest spine ever assembled and once that spine is gone Queensland are in trouble.

Meninga is fortunate that the NSW defence has to work tirelessly to keep the big 3 out and the NSW halfback couldn’t hurt a QLD player even if you dyed his hair orange and put him in a wheelchair. It makes the QLD forwards look better than they actually are. It’s about time the Queensland team was given a makeover and that means getting rid of players that are no longer the best in the game just because they were part of the 8-in-a-row squad. Jacob Lillyman, Justin Hodges, Sam Thaiday, Matt Gillett and Nate Myles that are simply not up to standard anymore. In the case of the forwards Mal could mostly be forgiven considering he isn’t exactly spoilt for choice however there is one dead set travesty in the blatant omission of Dylan Napa. Let’s forget about the baffling decision to put Morgan in the team as utility but Napa  is better than half the players on the QLD team and would certainly add the grunt and impact that the team so desperately needs. It took injuries to Macguire and Slater to get Papalii and Gagai into the team so it may take a couple of metal poles to the legs of Scott and Myles to actually get Napa into the side.

Even the Queensland players have been supporting Napa’s claim to play as many believe that he is one of the most damaging props currently in the NRL. He has the explosive running and hard hitting style needed to combat the likes of David Klemmer coming off the NSW bench. It seems the only person who doesn’t actually want him on the team is Meninga as he has pulled out every trick in the book to delay his debut.  It’s time to wake up Mal, now, or you may wake up in a few years time and find yourself in a world of pain.

Potential Future Queensland Team (Players 25 years or younger):

1. Valentine Holmes
2. Edrick Lee
3. Dane Gagai
4. Kirisome Auva’a
5. Kurt Mann
6. Anthony Milford
7. Ben Hunt
8. Dylan Napa
9. Jake Friend
10. Korbin Sims
11. Josh Papalii
12. Ethan Lowe
13. Chris Grevsmuhl

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