NSW Retain Coveted State of Origin Trophy Again

NSW has once again taken the Touch Football State of Origin Series Trophy and the bragging rights after the Men’s Open team clenched the overall series for the 7th time. The final game of the 2018 State of Origin was just like any other – full of passion, mental toughness and just pure grit. There were some heated matches, wonderful displays of athleticism and heart throughout the series. Both New South Wales and Queensland fought hard, coming down to the wire with New South Wales taking the series victory 8-6.

NSW has retained the Series Trophy since 2002, and start looking towards the 2020 State of Origin, due to be held in NSW.

MEN’S 55 – NSW 6 defeated QLD 5 (3 on 3 drop off) / NSW 5 defeated QLD 2 / NSW 2 defeated by QLD 3

Series Winners: NSW

Player of the Series: Joe Lancuba, NSW

When we spoke to Men’s 55s Coach Bruce Agar, he said the boys were in good spirits going into Game 2 after a tight contest yesterday. “We came into this game knowing we had a lot of things to correct and the guys were a lot more focused which resulted in a very good win for us,” said Bruce Agar. “We just had to keep that pressure on Queensland, keep our head and at the end of the day we just had more discipline on the park.”

MEN’S 50 – NSW 7 defeated QLD 5 / NSW 4  defeated QLD 3 / NSW 4 defeated QLD  3

Series Winners: NSW

Player of the Series: Mark Hearnden, NSW

“Victory is good!” said coach Paul Krahe following their second game, and series victory against New South Wales. This State of Origin campaign is Paul Krahe’s first as a head coach and he couldn’t be prouder of his teams performance. “Look we did it the tough way, going into drop off in that second game but we prepared for that and got the win at the end of the day,” said Krahe. “I was nervous but quietly confident we would get the job done.” The whole game was a tough contest for the Men’s 50s but the boys managed to get up in the 5 on 5 drop off to seal the victory for the Men’s 50s.

MEN’S 45 – NSW 8 defeated QLD 5 / NSW 4 defeated QLD 3 / NSW 5 defeated QLD 1

Series Winners: NSW

Player of the Series: Mark Leonard NSW

Continuing with the drop off theme, the NSW Men’s 45s team also took out the series in a 5 on 5 drop off in Game 2. An amazing dive in the corner that coach Peter Vincent classified as ‘Outstanding!’ sealed the win for senior division. “We came here to win a series and that is exactly what we did,” said Peter Vincent. “Only running with 11 fit players towards the end, but the boys dug deep and we got by through attitude, mental toughness and hanging in there.” The boys now look to rehabilitate, rest up and look after their bodies following the series.

MEN’S 40 – NSW 12 defeated QLD 5 /  NSW 6 defeated QLD 3 / NSW 8 defeated QLD 4

Series Winners: NSW

Player of the Series: Darren Reynoldson, NSW

Tony Eltakchi was relieved to get the series win over Queensland but said they didn’t make it easy for them. “It was really tough, they came out firing and they had too because they had everything to play for,” said Tony Eltakchi. “They just threw absolutely everything at us but we got up 6-3.” Eltakchi has been playing for his state for a number of Origin’s and said it is always a privilege to put on the blue jersey. “There is a bigger picture here, we are obviously out here playing for our state and everything counts in order to keep New South Wales on top,” said Eltakchi.

WOMEN’S 40 – NSW 1 defeated by QLD 3 / NSW 3 defeated by QLD 5 / NSW 2 defeated QLD 0

Series Winners: QLD

Player of the Series: Jodie Gair, QLD

Women’s 40s Coach Scott Oliver said whilst Queensland still got up 2-1 it was pleasing to end the series with the win. “That team out there in Game 3 was the team that has been training and the team that should have come out to play in the first and second games,” said Scott Oliver. “I think we showed patches of our best in both Games 1 and 2, where we were leading but just lost ourselves in the back end of the game.” The Women’s 40s team kept Queensland scoreless in the third game and is a credit to their structured defensive game.

WOMEN’S 35 – NSW 3 defeated by QLD 4 / NSW 3 defeated QLD 1 / NSW 6 defeated QLD 0

Series Winners: NSW

Player of the Series: Kylie Stewart, NSW

Women’s 35 Coach Glen Flanagan said not much changed from from Game 2 going into their decider against Queensland. “We didn’t start well last night in Game 1 we knew we didn’t need to to change much it was just a little bit flat, but when you have such quality players powering through the middle it is hard to stop,” said Glen Flanagan. “Every player from 1 to 14 was just brilliant out there and the guts and determination they showed was outstanding.” The NSW Women’s 35s took out their division 2-1 with a convincing Game 3 scoreline of 6-0.

MEN’S 35 – NSW 6 defeated by QLD 7 / NSW 5 defeated by QLD 9 / NSW 5 defeated by QLD 11

Series Winners: QLD

Player of the Series: Aaron Jones, QLD

“Unfortunately we went down 9-5 with too many injuries leading into this game, it is ultimately what let us down and it really exposed us,” said Coach Michael McDonald. The Men’s 35s had a tightly contested Game 1; however with key play makers in Daniel Rushworth and Shane Warman carrying injuries into Day 2, it was always an uphill battle. Today that battle was won by Queensland but Coach Michael McDonald sees a bigger picture and says they’ll be stronger next cycle. “There is always a bigger picture, and we will definitely have a few takeaways from this.

WOMENS 30s – NSW 8 defeated QLD 5 / NSW 10 defeated by QLD 11 / NSW 2 defeated QLD 6

Series Winners: QLD

Player of the Series: Kelly Kennedy, QLD

Coach John Dalton says not much changed going into Game 3 and the decider for series. “It was a close game but we have to fix a few things in defence obviously given we let in 11 tries which isn’t good enough and won’t win us game 3,” said John Dalton. “I think if we just fix up a few things in defence we’ll be right.” The decider was another closely contested game. “It was such a cracking series and a credit to Queensland, they came out hard and we just had to defend too many sets of 6 in the end, but an absolute credit to the girls they busted their asses and were very good.”

MEN’S 30 – NSW 9 defeated QLD 8 / NSW 7 defeated QLD 11 / NSW 3 defeated by QLD 6

Series Winners: QLD

Player of the Series: Michael Baartz, QLD

A hard fought contest for NSW on day 2 and unfortunately the Men’s 30s couldn’t bring it home in Games 2 or 3.  “We gave it our absolute all but Queensland is a fantastic side, very physical and determined,” said Coach Jason Martin. “I’m super proud of the boys because they really gave it their all out there.”

WOMEN’S 20 – NSW 7 defeated QLD 3 / NSW 3 defeated by QLD 6 / NSW 5 defeated QLD 3

Series Winners: NSW

Player of the Series: Brittney Clifford, NSW

Assistant Coach Matt Scranage said they have a few things to change if they’re to take out game 3. “I think the girls just tried to do too much in that game and the box was just way too enthusiastic,” said coach Matt Scranage. “We went away from our plays and going into Game 3 we just need to keep our heads.”

Game 3 was a tough contest but the NSW Women’s 20s team kept a cool head, stuck to their game plan and took out the series 2-1. Everything Assistant Coach Matt Scranage said after Game 2 was put into action and he couldn’t be prouder. “I am stoked with that performance,” said Matt Scranage. “We stuck to our structures and got the series win.”

MEN’S 20 – NSW 2 defeated by QLD 4 / NSW 5 defeated QLD 9 / NSW 4 defeated QLD 5

Series Winners: QLD

Player of the Series: Blake Moore, QLD

Coach Dave Nolan was super proud of the effort from the boys; even though they went down in all 3 games. “Game 1 we were super passionate and probably lacked a little bit of smarts. Whilst Game 2 was the opposite where we lacked the passion but were a lot smarter,” said Dave Nolan. “I think those two converged there in the third game but we did make some silly errors and that really hurt us.” Despite the results throughout the series Nolan was incredibly proud of the boys and the results weren’t reflective of their performance and attitude during the series. “This Touch Football calendar has been very packed for the boys, matching with players from all over the state was difficult but the guys we had certainly did us proud,” said Dave Nolan.

MIXED OPEN – NSW 8 defeated by QLD 9 / NSW 7 defeated QLD 6 / NSW 7 defeated QLD 5

Series Winners: NSW

Player of the Series: Dylan Thompson, NSW

Coach Manu Wakely is the king of video analysis and that homework is exactly what he relied on to secure a Game 2 victory. “We analysed their attack and defence, which resulted in us making some adjustments accordingly and I think we utilised our players skill set a bit better,” said Manu Wakely. “They’re always going to be a tough hit out against Queensland but what we are going to do is try and get as many variables in place to help us win by 1 or 2 in that final game.”

NSW Mixed Open cruised through Game 3 rarely faulting to a face paced Queensland offence. “We learnt a lot from Game 1, progressed it for Game 2 and corrected again for Game 3. That is what secured the series for us,” said Coach Wakley. NSW wins back the Mixed Open State of Origin crown following a three cycle drought.

WOMEN’S OPEN – NSW 7 defeated by QLD 9 / NSW 10 defeated QLD 7 / NSW 2 defeated by QLD 8

Series Winners: QLD

Player of the Series: Paige Parker, QLD

“We went back to what we do, had a look at last nights game and made the adjustments to our running game,” said Coach Michael Moussa. “We’ll have a look at the video and see what to change for Game 3.”

It wasn’t the day for the NSW Women’s Open going down to Queensland for the second year running. Moussa said the girls played with a lot of heart but they just ran out of legs in the end.”They put some systems in place, came out a little harder than they did in that second game and we didn’t come with them,” said Michael Moussa. “They ran hard and fast in that game and couldn’t really match them.”

MEN’S OPEN – NSW 8 defeated QLD 7 / NSW 6 defeated by QLD 8 / NSW 12 defeated QLD 9

Series Winners: NSW

Player of the Series: Scott Buckley, NSW

Coach Paul Sfeir was ecstatic with his players performance and is excited to see where his 7 debutantes will get up to next. “That is my 3rd one of these in a row so it’s a credit to the boys getting the win; between the hurdles we had to get over with Vawdon Cup, State Cup, a lot of boys pulling out and that disappointment of the loss in Game 2,” said Paul Sfeir. “Queensland threw absolutely everything at us, they’re a great team and Men’s Open is just the greatest quality of Touch Football.” The NSW boys dug deep in the final game finishing up with 12 touchdowns to Queensland’s 9. The NSW Men’s Open lost 1 of their key players early in Game 1 which proved challenging but Sfeir was stoked with the performance in the end. “We lost Justin Costello after 4 minutes in that first game and we brought him in to defend on the right but the boys just really picked it up which is a credit to their passion and determination.” NSW now look to retaining their title on their home turf in 2 years time.


NSW Touch Association General Manager Dean Russell was wrapped with the Team NSW effort. “As a state we ask a lot of our players and coaches at this level and they never fail to deliver. They all bleed blue and we will be more than happy to be taking the shield home with us………again!”

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