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You need only have looked around the delirious Maroons dressing sheds last night to know the game is in good hands in the Sunshine State.

There were Devils galore, a couple of Capras, two Cutters, a Magpie and one of the all-time great Jets holding a clipboard; every member of the victorious Queensland team a testament to the grounding they received coming through the grades across all corners of the state.

We are likely to never see a player selected for Queensland from the state-based competition again – although Ipswich's latest halfback Ben Hunt gave it a sneaky look this week – but the connections the Origin players hold to the clubs of their formative years is what makes them quintessentially Queenslanders.

Breeding ground

And why Origin takes such a hold north of the border.

For three weeks a year, they are not the NRL superstars we watch on TV; they are the young blokes we watched brain them at the Cyril Connell competition and in the Mal Meninga Cup. The teenagers who when pushed into the senior grades infuriated the seasoned veterans with a precociousness that verged on arrogance.

Or, conversely, they are the players who were overlooked by the talent scouts, worked their way into the Intrust Super Cup team and through sheer determination and an unfailing sense of self-belief eventually made everyone sit up and take notice.

Capras skipper Guy Williams taught Cameron Munster in Rockhampton when he was a talented teen who took until he finished school to find the application required to even play first grade locally. Last night he was wearing the No.18 jersey of Queensland and a mere hamstring twinge from making his Origin debut.

Glasby adds up

Can you imagine how the team at Kennas Financial Services were feeling when they strolled into the Capricornia Electricity Centre on this morning for another day of number-crunching having seen a former employee – one of them! – crunching Blues players in front of more than 82,000 rabid New South Welshman only hours earlier.

At 28 years of age, Tim Glasby won't be a 10-year player for Queensland, but for every kid that grows up in the Capricornia region dreaming of rugby league's highest of highs - he will be a beacon of hope, proof that the right attitude coupled with hard work will always be rewarded, however long it takes.

And it's not going to stop there if last weekend's round of NRL matches is anything to go by.


In the game between Melbourne and North Queensland alone our resident Intrust Super Cup stats guru Brad Tallon reported there were a total of 30 players with 1089 games of Cup experience taking part.


The four that hadn't? Storm's Josh Addo-Carr, Jesse Bromwich and Dale Finucane along with Kane Linnett from the Cowboys.

Best way

Through the development of match-winner Brodie Croft, two-try hero Curtis Scott and former Cowboys Under 20s hooker Brandon Smith the Storm have shown that the best way to get young talent ready to excel in the NRL is to play them in the Intrust Super Cup.

And what about Kurt Capewell, the latest obsession of tens of thousands of NRL Fantasy coaches after a performance for the Sharks last weekend that yielded 106 Fantasy points via two tries, four line breaks, one try assist and 251 run metres from 22 carries.

All that from a kid from Charleville who has stints in systems at the Broncos and Roosters before finding his feet in Ipswich and completing his rugby league education under the Walker boys.

More to come

Current Blackhawk Carlin Anderson has signed to play with the Cowboys from 2018 and in the past week another Capra, 22-year-old William Cullen, has been snapped up by the Canberra Raiders effective immediately with an option for the club to keep him on in 2018.

We are blessed to possess the most fertile nursery in rugby league; get out this weekend and watch more young talent blossom into future stars.

Did you know?

Wynnum Manly halfback Mat Seamark will become just the 15th player in Cup history to play 200 games when he runs out against the in-form Sunshine Coast at BMD Kougari Oval on Saturday night. The former Dolphin also needs just three more points to reach 1300, 121 behind the all-time leading Cup points-scorer Nick Parfitt (1421).

A former editor of Big League, Tony Webeck is the Chief Queensland Correspondent for