Billy the best again with No.1 prediction
BILLY Slater might have swapped the boots for a microphone but he can still read the play better than most. Even before it starts.
In the pre-match show Billy made the prediction that Origin III would be decided by "a bit of something special by one of the number ones".
He didn't specify which one of the ones would be the one but it was an each-way bet that couldn't lose. They were both brilliant.
James Tedesco's late first half run turned the game around. His try early in the second all but sealed the deal and his second broke Queensland hearts.
By the end of the game Tedesco was so dominant that Ray Warren had stopped calling him by his name.
Just "You Know Who" was sufficient.
As for Cameron Munster, as Fatty Vautin said, "every time he gets the ball it's alarm bells for the Blues."
Fatty's opposite number Gus Gould was even more emphatic.
"He's a menace. He's a menace, he's an absolute menace."
He loves nothing better than a bit of repetition does Gus but to fair to him he wasn't in the best of moods for much of the first half.
For starters the NSW walkover that just about everybody who wasn't born north of the Tweed had been predicting all week hadn't followed the script early, and the referees were, in his words, "whistle happy".
They even had Fatty tongue-tied.
"To be honest some of the penalties have been bewooldering … I mean, bewildering," he said as NSW received two in a row close to the line.
Gus just came out with one of his classics.
"Dear oh dear oh dear."
Not that he stayed upset for too long, as Paul Vaughan took advantage to crash over for the Blues.
"He's one front rower who goes to bed dreaming about scoring tries," he said. "He's a try sneak. He's a try sneak."
He'd had to be. Up until Tedesco's 65-metre burst it had been all Queensland which considering the build-up the Blues had enjoyed was saying something.
They'd got to hang out at the NSWRL Centre of Excellence, warmed up on their own field and walked through the tunnel of legends past photos of the stars of the Sydney Olympics including the biggest of them all, Cathy Freeman.
Maybe the change of routine had all been too much for them. Maybe someone had forgotten that Cathy Freeman is a Queenslander or maybe, God forbid, it was the C-word.
Ray Warren let it slip a few minutes before kick-off.
"Gus," he said. "Do you think the Blues might have let some complacency creep in?"
It was the question Gus had been waiting his whole life for.
"There is no place in sport for complacency," he said. "Complacency shows disrespect to your opponent. Show disrespect and you invite disappointment into your life."
With nine minutes to go and 12 points ahead it looked like the Blues had done just that.
"If they can score one they can score two," said Fatty who has seen it all before - and that's exactly what happened.
"Here we go," he said.
"The Maroons are running downhill," said Gus.
The invitation was in the envelope. The postie was making his way down Disappointment Avenue.
And then You Know Who got there first.
As Gus would say, he's a menace, he's a menace. He's an absolute menace. Dear oh dear oh dear.