NRL carnage as Reece Walsh leads brutal fallout after fan backlash to State of Origin dilemma

The NRL round is set to be decimated after a gruelling State of Origin Game 2.

NRL fans could be once again left frustated with the timing of State of Origin and the impact it has on their team with Reece Walsh leading the big names missing the round after huge calls from the Broncos and Cowboys. NRL fans took aim at the timing of Origin during the round 16 bye round with the quality of the Rabbitohs and Manly contest coming under scrutiny.

Origin 2 offered up a spectacle at the MCG on Wednesday night with the Blues obliterating the Maroons 38-18, but the fallout on clubs has been brutal with the Kevin Walters and Todd Payten already announcing a long list of absentees. All six Origin players from the Cowboys will be rested this weekend for their away clash against the Panthers.

The likes of Reece Walsh (pictured left), Payne Haas and Reuben Cotter are being rested this week, with Zac Lomax (pictured right) a doubt, as State of Origin once again causes havoc with the NRL. (Getty Images)
The likes of Reece Walsh (pictured left), Payne Haas and Reuben Cotter are being rested this week, with Zac Lomax (pictured right) a doubt, as State of Origin once again causes havoc with the NRL. (Getty Images)

This is a huge call from Payten with the Cowboys sitting in eighth place on 18 points. A loss to the Panthers will undoubtedly see them drop outside the top eight. However, the likes of Rueben Cotter, Valentine Holmes and Jeremiah Nanai all endured a horror night on the back foot against the Blues and won't backup.

Ivan Cleary is yet to confirm whether the likes of Dylan Edwards, Brian To'o, Isiah Yeo and Jarome Luai will all play. While the Cowboys are looking for a long evening at home to the Panthers, the Broncos are also facing a vital clash.

Walters ruled the all the Broncos' Origin representatives would also miss the away clash to the Warriors. A large part of Walters' decision could have been the turnaround from Origin to a match in New Zealand. However, the lagging Broncos will miss the likes of Reece Walsh, Payne Haas and Patrick Carrigan for the round 17 clash.

This is a big call from Walters with the finalists in 2023 leaving the NRL world shocked as they sit in 7th place also on 18 points. They play the Panthers next week and then face the Dragons in the bye round. Walsh hasn't played for the Broncos since round 12 due to his concussion on Game 1 of Origin. Already missing the likes o halfback Adam Reynolds through injury this season, Broncos fans will be hoping they can find their 2023 form even if they are missing a large portion of their stars.

Reece Walsh reacts during State of Origin.
Reece Walsh (pictured) won't play this weekend against the Warriors.

The Dragons are waiting to see how one of the Blues' best players, Zac Lomax, pulls up after Wednesday. Lomax admitted he needed his knee drained so he could run out onto the field an take part in the Blues' victory in Game 2. However, Lomax was visibly limping after the result and the Dragons might not want to push the star winger heading into the backend of the season. He is deemed a long shot to play on the weekend.

Melbourne coach Craig Bellamy also said one of Queensland pair Harry Grant and Xavier Coates would “definitely play” on Saturday against the Raiders. But one wouldn’t back up from Wednesday night’s bruising MCG loss.

While the Broncos and Cowboys have already announced their plans to rest the representatives, they most likely won't be alone. Fans will be waiting to see their line-ups for the weekend with calls being made at the last moment.

Only last week, calls once again kickstarted for the NRL to make the Origin series a stand alone in the calendar. Latrell Mitchell was incredible, during the clash against the Maroons but his absence from the Rabbitohs was evident last Saturday. Cameron Murray was also missing for South Sydney as Manly missed Daly-Cherry Evans, Haumole Olakau'atu and Jake Trbojevic. Adding on injuries and Manly was missing 14 players from their team.

And in the rain, the Rabbitohs held Manly scoreless against them for the first time in 75 years in a dire 14-0 victory. Fans were critical of the spectacle and once again called out the NRL for hosting the State of Origin series in the middle of the season.


Seibold was stoic after the game and refused to blame the fixtures favouring different teams on when they receive a bye round, but he did admit it was a tough time for the Sea Eagles. "Ideally it would make sense to have Origin by itself, but it's not going to happen," Seibold said after the match. "Some draws you get a good card there with a bye, but I'm not going to whinge about that.

"I thought we had a good enough team to get a result, but they were just a bit classy. We just had so many players playing all over the place. Cohesion was always going to be down." Regardless, there doesn't appear to be any change on the horizon with fans often getting frustrated when the absentees hit their team the hardest.

Daly Cherry-Evans looks dejected.
The Cowboys and Broncos are just two teams already having announced they will rest their State of Origin players.