OCTOBER 8 2020 | Mike Colman

OCTOBER 8 2020 | Mike Colman


I reckon sports fans could be about to take a walk down memory lane when State of Origin makes its belated return to Suncorp Stadium on November 18.

In fact, in the words of the late great Rex Mossop, it might be a case of déjà vu all over again. The last time Wayne Bennett rode back into town to save the Maroons was in 2001 and just like now it looked as if he and his team were on a hiding to nothing. A year earlier Queensland had been flogged 3-nil by NSW, Gorden Tallis had been sent off for calling Bill Harrigan a cheat, Ryan Girdler had scored 32 points in one match, and who can forget the Blues infamous hand-grenade sledge in Game 3?

Then, just like now, Bennett put his hand up to lead the rescue mission and then, just like now he named a squad of youngsters who no-one gave much of a chance of coming close to the superstars from down south, let alone beating them.

This week Bennett has given the nod to the likes of A. J Brimson, Phillip Sami and Xavier Coates in his initial squad. Back in 2001 it was the equally unheralded John Buttigieg, John Doyle, Carl Webb and Brad Meyers. They ran out onto Suncorp Stadium for Game I as the longest of long-shots and walked off 80 minutes later having thumped the Blues 34-16. It is now history that NSW squared the series before Bennett pulled the biggest two-card trick of his career by flying Alfie Langer back from England to inspire a momentous series win.

The odds of Bennett and his Maroons pulling off another Origin miracle in Game 3 at Suncorp Stadium next month would be enormous, but I reckon you shouldn’t rule it out.

What do YOU reckon?