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State of Origin: absentees mean Maroon empire looks vulnerable for once

Johnathan Thurston’s will to win, leadership and confidence under pressure is a massive loss for Queensland’s hopes of prevailing over New South Wales

History tells us, if we’re inclined to pay attention, that all empires come to an end. Some come crashing down, others slowly fall apart, but in the end most wind up as ruins, tourist attractions beside which to sell ice-cream and overpriced tat.

It may seem a surreal thing to contemplate for those currently basking under the Queensland sun, but we can take from this the certainty that the Maroon empire will fall, just as the empires of Babylonia, Rome, Britain, and St George fell before it. What we don’t know is precisely when this will happen. There seems little doubt, however, that the reign of the Maroon empire looks as vulnerable as it has since it came to prominence in 2006.

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