Every year, passionate Queenslanders hold their breath for the announcement that will make or break their origin hearts – the NSW team to play in that years origin series. And each year they smile, knowing they have won before a ball has been kicked, because NSW continually name a certain player, Mitchell Pearce.
You see, as a passionate New South Welshman, it breaks my heart too. And this brings me to that most celebrated scientist, Albert Einstein, and he famous quote,
“Insanity. Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”
So why does this apply to Mitchell Pearce?
You see, being the biggest kid in the sandpit makes you look good when you’re in day-care. It’s when you move to primary school that you are playing in the sand, amongst your equals, that you get found out. And in Origin, Pearce is continually found out. Week in, week out, he plys his trade for the Sydney Roosters. And he looks good doing it. Sometimes he does things. People (mainly Roosters supporters) crow on about how their halfback is the best player in the universe. The rest of us laugh.
Let’s look at his origin record:
2008 – Pearce is selected in Game 3 for his debut, which, surprise, surprise, NSW lose 16-10 (1 played – 0 wins – 1 loss)
2010 – Pearce replaced under-fire Brett Kimmorley for Game 2, and earns his first start at half-back. Qld win the series 3-0, taking Pearce’s origin record to (3 – 0 – 3)
2011 – Following on from 2010, NSW think continuity will be the key to origin success, and again, stick with Pearce. Qld start to get a sniff of what’s going on, and laud the Pearce selection, taking the series 2-1, putting a number in the W column at last for our besieged “star”. (6 – 1 – 5)
2012 – Well, they did it again, and Pearce makes his appearance in the number 7. Most of NSW know what Qld are laughing about, except the NSW selectors, and Roosters supporters. Qld 2-1 (9 – 2 – 7)
2013 – NSW supporters start a GoFundMe page looking for an assassin to remove Pearce from the gene pool. The hired assassin is too busy laughing to make the shot. That, and he’s from Qld. Qld win 2-1 (12 – 3 – 9)
2015 – Hearts sink as the name Mitchell Pearce is read out, as NSW supporters already know the result. Qld 2-1 (15 – 4 – 11)
2017 – This year, every NSW supporter is chanting the famous Einstein quote, while simultaneously banging their head against the wall. Qld are already celebrating. And as good old Albert said, things remained the same. Qld 2-1 (18 – 5 – 13)
So what happened in the “missing years”?
2014 – Joy was spread amongst the faces as NSW did something that no kid under the age of 10, born in NSW, had ever seen. We won a series! And the flog Pearce, was nowhere to be seen. Selectors had decided to go with some mongrel, and picked the successful Bulldogs combination of Hodkinson and Reynolds. People with fight. The series was wrapped up after Game 2 with NSW winning the series 2-1. Unfortunately there was talk, mainly from the Ch Nein types, of the word “Dynasty”. Qld laughed.
2016 – Despite failing in 2015, and every other year that he played, Mitchell Pearce decided to go out for a drink on Australia Day. He was firmly in the discussion for origin, much to Qld’s continued amusement. But Mitchell took the decision out of the selectors hands, and NSW celebrated as much as Mitchell did, and we all secretly cheered his simulated canine copulation, knowing he was going to be nowhere near origin.
So there you have it.
What an awesome Origin record Mitchell Pearce has. 18 games for 5 wins, and destined never to win an Origin series. EVER! I’m sure he’ll be in the frame for 2018, but there will be riots in the streets should a certain name be read out.
The DCE Method?
Now, before I leave, with you thinking that I absolutely detest Mitchell Pearce, let’s consider the Qld equivalent. Manly’s Daley Cherry-Evans. This example shows why Qld win more origin games than NSW. It’s called brains, and the ability to remember things. Like terrible players who cannot handle origin. DCE has a record of 6 – 3 – 3 in origin. But half of those games were off the bench. They won’t say it, but the guy doesn’t fit in the team. Hell, with a hyphenated name like his, maybe he should be paying the ”other” rugby game. His file is stamped “Never to play Origin again”. I just wish NSW would do the same to Pearce.
Lastly, I’ve already given you one quote, but I will finish with this anonymous one which came out of Game 3 2017. It relates to his ineffectual kicking game this night, continually hitting the chests of the Qld back three. I laughed.
“Mitchell Pearce couldn’t find grass in Nimbin”*