The Blues may have lost the 2013 State of Origin, but they have won the Australian Police Rugby League Tri-Series played in Adelaide from September 3rd-5th.
NSW Police Rugby League Vice-President of 8 years, Sergeant Rod Sheraton, says winning the tri-series was a fantastic reward for a lot of hard work put in all season.
“We’ve won 6 out of the 8 tri-series, and were disappointed at the loss last year in Sydney,” Mr Sheraton says. “We had to improve, and we have done that. After losing to QLD last year, to win quite convincingly in both games is pretty gratifying.”
NSW, staring former NRL players to the likes of Robert Mears (Canterbury) and Leo Clarke (St. George), took on the combined Affiliated States and Territories (SA/VIC/WA/NT/Australian Federal Police) team in what was a closer game than expected.
Leading at the half-time break 16-6, NSW showed their strength in fierce tackles and hard-hitting defence to win 38-6.
Day two of the tri-series saw NSW battle its ultimate rival in QLD for the Police State of Origin, which NSW Coach Superintendent Craig Sheridan says are always tough encounters.
The game was locked for the first 10 minutes with neither side managing to break the others defensive line. NSW broke the scoring drought to lead 4-nil after a missed conversion. Frustration rose in both sides as minor brawls broke out in typical origin style before the half-time break that saw NSW lead10-nil.
QLD came back in the second half to trail by a try but NSW scored in the dying minutes to take the game 26-12 and the overall series.
“We won both games really strong with a well-rounded team,” Coach Sheridan says. “Josh Murphy (St. George), Brayden Sharrock (Wagga), and David Cox (Manly) were our standout players.”
Josh Murphy (five-eighth) won the Player of the Tri-Series and was one of the 12 NSW players selected into the Australian Representative Team set to tour in 2014.
“With 12 of our players, five QLD and three AS, it looks like a fantastic representative team,” Coach Sheridan says.
Great camaraderie's were forged between the group and the spirit was evident on and off the field, and will hold those in the 2014 in good stead to take on the Queenslander's at Suncorp Stadium next year, in celebration of the Queensland Police 150 year of Policing celebrations.
Australian Police Representative Team 2013;
James Bartholomew (Qld), Michael Fortier (NSW), Daniel Drewe (NSW), Lee Cameron (NSW), Andrew Cridland (Qld), Josh Murphy (NSW), Jai Jones (NSW), Brayden Sharrock (NSW), Matt Johnstone (NSW), David Cox (NSW), Jason Klimis (Qld), Alex McDonald (AS), Danny Lawrence (NSW), Robert Mears (NSW), Tom Bissett (Qld), David O'Riordon (AS), Tim Pont (NSW), Kurtis Richie (Qld), Clayton Parkyns (NSW), Nasi Holani (AS).