From the Grandstand by Col Hennessy


 Well in the last week, the grandstand members have been talking about ‘upsets’ on the sporting arenas and of course concentrating on the Rugby codes.

The first State of Origin win to Queensland was indeed an upset given that all the pundits predicted a clear win to the Blues. I looked in all the papers and it was 100% in favour of the NSW team. That was 15 tipsters in total. You could understand why as well. Qld had some key players out (as did the Blues) but there were not too many in their team that could have forced their way into the opposition camp come selection time. All the Daly M awards for positional champions were taken up by NSW players. The 70-year old coach was seen to be past it but in hindsight was the man for the job. It’s a management role more than anything and with all his experience he would have had all the young players particularly in the right head space.

No doubt tonight’s second match will be different as the Blues will be at home and smarting from that wake-up call. Coach Fittler will ensure they do not read the papers (and predictions) and certainly not underestimate their opponents. They should win comfortably and then go to Brisbane for the decider. Wont that be great?

In saying that there have been upsets in the past in Rugby League and indeed at Origin level. Who can forget when Fatty Vautins Maroons were written off in the 1990’s. It was at the height of the Super League war when all the best players were with the Broncos or Cowboys, so they were not eligible. He didn’t even recognise the young teenager Ben Ikin who was with the Gold Coast. So, lacking in talent were the Qld side they even considered not holding the series that year. We all know what happened. Qld went on to win and win comfortably 3-0.

Last Saturday we had another upset when the Wallabies defeated the All Blacks in the final Bledisloe Cup match. Lang Park (aka Suncorp) is becoming a bit of a graveyard for visiting sides. It was a graveyard literally you know in Brisbane’s early history but happy to say its become our own Eden Park as we have won some momentous Tri Nation games there and international Soccer as well. The Wallabies have now had the full house out of their four games – a win, a draw, a loss and a thrashing. The future does look more-rosy though.

So, the question to all of you in the grandstand is what have been the big upsets in Australian sport. I cannot go past Australia 11’s win in 1983 in the America’s Cup. Unbeaten in over 100 years the Americans were leading 3-1, but we came home (with our winged keel) to win 4-3. Anyone who went to work that day was a dud.