Queensland Clinch the State of Origin Series in a Nail-biting Win!
The State of Origin, is an annual series of rugby league in which two Australian states, Queensland and New South Wales, take part. The series lasts for 3 games with the winner taking home the State of Origin. This first started in 1980 and has featured some marvelous clashes and magnificent players; some of these players include Jonathan Thurston, Billy Slater and Cameron Smith. It is often known as The Queensland Maroons vs The New South Wales Blues, as Queensland always play in maroon and NSW always play in blue.
This year, Queensland won the first game 18-14 however, their star player, Cameron Munster, was injured for the second game which led to them getting thrashed by the New South Wales 34-10 in the second game. Of course, this then meant the series was poised at 1-1 for the decider which was held on the 18th November.
In the 3rd and final game, Queensland scored in the first 3 minutes with several passes on the wing that lead to the winger, Valentine Holmes, diving in at the corner. This resulted in an early lead of 6-0 however, New South Wales struck back with an attacking kick that Queensland’s full back failed to catch, this gave James Tredesco the chance to level the game after diving on the loose ball to claim the try.
After several big defense plays from Queensland which led to them restricting the NSW’S yardage, James Tredesco left the field injured after a collision with a Queensland prop. Queensland were leading the game 12-6 after a sensational effort from the half-back, Cameron Munster, who put in 3 kicks to let the centre, Edrick Lee, stroll in for Queensland’s 2nd try. Queensland also looked to be leading comfortably in possession and the yardage gains, however, they could not capitalise on their chances and dropped 2 passes that would have lead to certain tries. Regardless of this, the Maroons were gifted a penalty to make the game 14-6. Young Harry Grant then got into the action putting the Maroons 20-6 up. The Blues did everything they could do to achieve a try however they only managed to kick a penalty to make the final score 20-8.
The Grand Slam of Darts Has Started this Week
The Grand Slam of Darts is a 32 player tournament, there are 8 groups with 4 players in each group. The top 2 of each group then go into a knockout competition of the last 16 until the winner is crowned.
The Grand Slam of Darts has Started this week and it is currently taking place in Coventry behind closed doors, this is different to what the competition is usually like; there are no drunken fans wearing costumes chanting to Chase the Sun. However, it still is a big competition with £550,000 to be won and well-known darts players taking part, such as the reigning champion Gerwyn price, as well as Rob Cross, Gary Anderson and Michael Van Gerwen.
There have been quite a few shocks so far in the Grand Slam of Darts with Nathan Aspinall beating reigning champion Gerwyn Price in a 10-8 in a nail-biting match; the 29 year old stopped Price from winning his 3rd grand slam. The Australian Simon Whitlock beat the world number 1 Micheal Van Gerwen to reach the semi-final. I cannot wait for the semi-finals and finals. The semi-finals are Simon Whitlock vs Jose De Sousa and James Wade vs Dimitri Van de Bergh.
England Put Their Loss to Belgium Behind Them With a Dominant Win Over Iceland
England faced Iceland in a no-stakes game on Wednesday Night (18th November), this was because England’s hopes of getting to the Nations League Final were ended by Belgium last week in a 2-0 defeat. Nevertheless, it was a good opportunity for Gareth Southgate to give the younger players coming through the international side a go. The squad included players such as Phil Foden (20), Jack Grealish (25) and Mason Mount (21). Phil Foden, the Manchester City forward, became the youngest English player ever to score more than once in a game at Wembley. He scored 2 late goals to prove to Gareth Southgate that he was worth playing after being sent home in disgrace a few months previous. Declan Rice also scored his first-ever international goal with a header in the 20th minute, in the end England managed a comfortable 4-0 win. However Southgate still has plenty to work on as their defeat to Belgium showed how bad England is compared to their European competitors. If England wants to challenge for the delayed Euros next year they need to work on their defense and keeping clean sheets.
The Women’s Big Bash League semi-finals are set
Sydney Thunder joins the women’s bbl semifinals after a thumping 6 wicket win over the Hobart Hurricanes, Shabnim Ismail and Hannah Darlington both took 3 wickets to restrict the Hurricanes to 115 – 9, Sydney then got off to a magnificent start with England captain Heather Knight hitting 25 runs from 15 deliveries. Another England International Tammy Beaumont scored 22 runs. Phoebe Litchfield then got 24 runs not out to finish the job. Sydney has booked their place in the semi-finals along with Brisbane Heat and Melbourne Stars.
Look Ahead to the Next Week:
On Thursday (26th November) it is Thanksgiving this means that American Football is on all day. There are 3 matches being played, first up is the Houston Texans vs Detroit, I predict that Houston will win this as they will have had the confidence of beating the New England Patriots last week however Detroit has currently 4 wins whereas Houston only have 3.
The second Thanksgiving game is the Dallas Cowboys vs Washington, this is a very close game to predict, as both teams have 3 wins and in their league (NFC east) everybody has 3 wins. However I think that the Dallas Cowboys may have the edge after coming off the back of a good win vs Minnesota and having Andy Dalton back after his COVID isolation period.
The last Thanksgiving football game is the Baltimore Ravens vs Pittsburgh Steelers, Pittsburgh are the only unbeaten team in the NFL and have had a magnificent season so I predict them to beat Baltimore, who have lost 4 games so far this season. However, Baltimore’s quarterback (Lamar Jackson) is a fantastic passer and is so quick on his feet that given space can become a deadly runner of the ball.
Super League Grand Final
On Friday Night 27th November at 8pm it will be the Super League Grand final, the grand final is the final of the playoffs that the top 6 in the league played, the winners of the grand final are therefore crowned champions of the super league. This means that a team that finished top of the table may not be crowned champions, the grand final is normally held during October except due to the coronavirus lockdown it has been pushed back to the end of November. Only 4 teams have ever won the Super League Grand Final since it started in 1996. Those 4 teams are Wigan Warrior, Leeds Rhinos, St Helens and Bradford Bulls. In this year’s Grand Final it is the Wigan Warriors Vs St Helens. This means that this legacy will be upheld. Tune in to Sky Sports Arena on Friday night to see who wins.