Looking back at an article last week, this writer almost forgot about Michael Jennings’ flying haymaker in the brawl in game one last year.
The article last week read:
Michael Jennings is vowing not to repeat the moment of madness that resulted in his sin-binning in last year’s first State of Origin match, admitting it ”killed” him to watch NSW concede a crucial try with only 12 men on the field.
The Blues centre had already made history before that series opener in Melbourne, becoming the first Origin player in nearly 30 years to be selected from reserve grade.
There was further notoriety when he was marched for 10 metres in the first half for his theatrical interjection into an all-in brawl: he raced 20 metres to throw an overhead, jumping haymaker aimed haphazardly at the head of Queensland’s Brent Tate.
In his absence NSW drifted from 4-0 ahead to 6-4 behind after a Darius Boyd try. They were ultimately beaten 18-10, the first step in the Maroons’ securing of a seventh straight title.
”Obviously it was a wrong decision. If I could change it, I would change it,” Jennings said. ”I’d probably be smarter about coming in and throwing stupid punches like that.
”They scored while I was off and it killed me letting the boys down.
”They got that try and got back into the game. Looking back at it now, I’d be smarter about everything I do.”
Man, that was a wild scene last year. I remember thinking the sin-binning was a little bit harsh considering the size of the brawl, and to single out the centre for running in was a touch over the top. Especially when you consider how Brett Stewart was allowed to play on after flying in with an elbow to Adam Blair’s head in a club game near the end of 2011.
For history’s sake, here’s the footage:
Was it really fair to sin-bin Jenko amid all that carnage? And, more hilariously, did you see that he first made contact with Ben Creagh before Brent Tate?
Well, the good news is Shayne Hayne and Ashley Klein are refereeing this one, so we can almost guarantee they’ll get the call correct this time.