NSW Trains swipe Queensland with cheeky State of Origin sledge

It’s fair to say that New South Wales football fans are pretty fed up with losing the annual State of Origin series to Queensland.

The fiercest sporting rivalry between the two states has been won by these clever Canetoads for almost two decades.

Of the last 18 series since 2006, the Maroons have won an entirely unacceptable 14 of them, including eight in a row from 2006 to 2013, which is almost unbearable.

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After consecutive triumphs under Brad Fittler in 2018 and 2019 gave NSW fans hope, the Maroons hit back by winning three of their last four games, including their last two in a row.

To put it simply, the mighty Blues need all the help they can get and Transport NSW has decided to do its bit for a landmass struggling to maintain its Premier State moniker.

Earlier this week, Channel 7 interviewed Taylor Owens, the voice of the NSW Trains network.

They soon discovered that one of Owens’ recent assignments was to record a special message for the millions of passengers who use the network each week.

“The voice actress was called to record an urgent transport announcement ahead of Australia’s biggest sporting rivalry, State of Origin,” said 7 journalist Lucy McLeod.

The story then switches to Owens in the studio, where she is recording a cold-blooded directive to all invading Queenslanders.

“Can all New South Wales-born travellers please move to the upper carriage to make way for Queenslanders who can take their rightful place below,” she said in her trademark voice.

Granted, it’s a small gesture, but NSW will use it to stop Queensland from securing a third consecutive series. Again.

Social media users were happy to join in as the face behind one of the state’s most famous voices took a swipe at Queensland.

“Don’t get us conflated with up and down… last time I saw the map NSW was right at the bottom of Queensland,” read one comment on Instagram.

“The right place!” wrote another, along with a crying laughing emoji.

“Hahahahaha, yeeeeeesss, this announcement,” wrote another.

“The people of Queensland are happy to welcome you,” declared another, in what we believe is a typical Maroon attempt at reverse psychology.

Others were shocked to learn the identity behind the voice.

One wrote: “Until now I never thought it was actually a human voice.”

Another said: “I thought there was a robot behind the voice.”

And more than one was sure that a well-known Australian was the voice of the trains in NSW.

“I always thought Gretel Killeen made these announcements,” one wrote.

As for football, Game 1 will kick off at the Accor Stadium on Wednesday next week and large crowds will surely use the train to get to the stadium.

NSW playmaker Jarome Luai is ready to reignite hostilities with the Maroons and particularly their superstar Reece Walsh after the duo were sent off in the second game of last year’s series.

Luai and Walsh were involved in a number of heated moments, with the pair being sent off after a headbutt occurred between the two during one of the more heated exchanges at Suncorp Stadium.

After a heavy loss in Brisbane that night, Luai was left out of the squad for Game 3 and feared his last memory in a Blues jersey would be hearing 52,433 Queensland fans cheer him on in the dying seconds as he walked down the tunnel.

The game ended wildly, with Josh Addo-Carr sent to the penalty box for a punch before Walsh and Luai exchanged headbutts, just weeks after the Broncos fullback pulled the Penrith star’s long mane of hair in the series’ opening game.

The three-time champions called him “a bit weak” at the time for the hair-pulling, but Luai understands his role and knows he cannot afford to spend time off the field as the Blues try to reclaim the title.

“(Walsh) wears his heart on his sleeve and he is a competitor because that is what it takes to even get into this Origin arena,” Luai said.

“To get here you have to have that chip on your shoulder and then it’s about who is able to work better together and play as a team.

“I think it (the hair pulling) was the first game, that’s Origin, man.

“I’m here to do a job. I don’t want to end up in the trash or anything like that.”

“I wear this jersey with pride and want to do whatever it takes to win. I play for my family and everyone in NSW, that’s where my passion comes from.”

Luai will play at half-time alongside former touch football teammate Nicho Hynes in the series opener in Sydney, with his form at Penrith enough to earn him his jersey back after being left out of the squad for last year’s meaningless game.

It is an incredible comeback from a man who faced death threats online 12 months ago.

While the Blues’ halves appear to be well-placed, Parramatta’s Mitch Moses may have thrown a wrench into NSW’s plans on Thursday night after returning to his starring role from injury in the Eels’ 34-22 win over Cronulla.

Parramatta also welcomed back captain Clint Gutherson, but it was the return of Moses that seemed to spark the Eels’ attack.

Moses has been sidelined since breaking his foot in the third round, but was obviously in top form and orchestrated the Eels’ fourth win of the season.

In a post-match interview on Channel 9, Moses revealed that he only started playing football properly again on Monday of this week.

However, there was speculation that if he was able to return to the field, he would wear the NSW Blues No.7 jersey for the first State of Origin game.

When asked if there was a chance he could have come back a week earlier, Moses said he did everything he could.

“I tried two weeks ago, but it just didn’t work out,” Moses said. “I couldn’t go out there and let the guys down.”

“I tried to come back early enough, took every opportunity and did my best, but it didn’t work out.”

And fans were overwhelmed by the performance, demanding that Moses be included in the Blues squad as Nicho Hynes struggles with a calf injury.

The Mole of WWOS tweeted: “BRING MOSES INTO ORIGIN STYLE!!! Nicho will be training his hamster at practice tomorrow!!!”

Freelance sports reporter Luke Robinson suggested: “It’s not too late to bring Moses into Blues camp for Game 1! That’s the best option they have.”

Brad Tallon, a statistician at ABC Sports, said: “There is a possibility that Nicho will be out tomorrow and Moses will be brought in…”

— with NCA Newswire

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