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Longmire: No room for Origin

Sportal May 24, 2012, 3:58 pm
John Longmire

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John Longmire believes State of Origin is dead and buried in the AFL given the already 'heavy schedule' and the nationalisation of the competition.

Speaking ahead of Saturday's clash with St Kilda at Etihad Stadium, the Swans coach said that despite the success of NRL's State of Origin competition, he couldn't see it fitting into the AFL schedule any time soon.

"In regards to the AFL doing it, I just can't see how it's going to fit into the schedule and that's the biggest challenge for them," Longmire said.

"The players enjoy having the bye during the season, and it's on the record that they want even two byes, so I'm not sure if you could have two byes, 22 games, finals and a pre-season competition.

"It's a tough season anyway, it goes for a long time and is one of the longest competitions in the world in terms of season length plus you've got a sub rule and other things put in place that sees players play more game time, so I just can't see it happening in the short term."

Longmire, who represented both Victoria and New South Wales in State of Origin, said that the fact the AFL is now a truly national competition worked against State of Origin supporters.

"I think that's where it gets hard and I think the romantic notion of seeing Victoria versus South Australia or things like that, you can see that happening or maybe get built up over time, but with a national competition the way it is, you get a slice of that anyway," he said.

"You don't get all the best players playing together, so I understand it's not quite the same, but you get an element of it."

The Swans bounced back from a Round 7 loss to Richmond with a 101-point mauling of Melbourne last week and Longmire said he was looking forward to the clash with St Kilda, who Sydney knocked out in an elimination final last year.

"It's a different coach, maybe a bit of a difference in game style but we are looking forward to the game because it's a test against a quality team, they've been a quality team for many seasons," Longmire said of facing St Kilda under new coach Scott Watters.

With the Saints suffering a ruck crisis without first-choice Ben McEvoy and utility Rhys Stanley (both injured), Longmire said that was an area his side may be able to exploit.

"Well, it's not an advantage unless you make it," Longmire admitted.

Mark Seaby booted four goals in the reserves last week and may return to the side to play alongside Mike Pyke, with Jesse White also performing well in the twos.

"We've used all of our ruckman that we've got on our list this season, he (Seaby) kicked four goals for us on the weekend in the reserves so we firmly believe we need a number of players in that position," Longmire said.

Saturday also marks Martin Mattner's 200th game in the AFL with the unassuming defender making his mark at the Swans after switching from Adelaide in 2007.

The 29-year-old has missed only one game in his time at Sydney and is highly regarded by Longmire for his hardness and consistency.

"We recruited him from Adelaide for his hardness and his run and he has delivered that in spades," he said.

"There are some big blokes out there who hit the ball hard and quite often (Marty's) in a situation where he is going up against those blokes.

"He never flinches and he's very tough and keeps his eye on the ball and that's why he's such a valued member of the team."

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5 Comments

  1. Jason07:58am Friday 25th May 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    Easy - ditch the preseason comp! Either put the State of Origin there, or put it after the grand final and have a longer off season.

    Reply
  2. Chris11:42pm Thursday 24th May 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    longmire comes from a weak AFL state so ofcourse he sees no point to it. State of Origin worked fine when it was just WA SA and VIC but got #$%$ when the AFL tried to be inclusive with the lame Allies team.

    Reply
  3. ShortSnap08:44pm Thursday 24th May 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    Meister, take your stupid game back, we don't want it in Melbourne. You can take it and shove it up your QLD and NSW a***.

    Reply
  4. Anthony07:47pm Thursday 24th May 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    Hey hey - meister - stupid game ? Maggots ? stupid state ? wrong wrong wrong - most good kind people in melbourne do not want origin because it is not important to us anymore... 4 points ! get it ? origin bores me and its like..... Like its...... Like you!

    Reply
  5. Meister07:01pm Thursday 24th May 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    Melbourne maggots. Stick to your own stupid game and your own stupid State.

    1 Reply
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