Bundaberg’s Antonio Kaufusi reflects on his time representing Queensland as he prepares to cheer on little brother Felise in tonight’s State of Origin.
You can almost hear the famous words of Billy Moore yelling out ‘Queenslander, Queenslander, Queenslander', in attempt to motivate an underdog Maroon team in the ‘95 Origin series, as he walks out of the tunnel.
That was in reaction to the New South Wales players saying that they would belt the first person to say ‘Queenslander'.
We all know how that ended, it was the first white wash for the Maroons winning the series 3-nil.
As I sit here and write this, and reflect upon how proud I am to be a Queenslander, who was fortunate enough to wear the Maroons jersey back in 2007 (number 163).
I still remember the roar as I ran out to a packed Suncorp Stadium…. the adrenalin running through my body.
I had all my loved ones at the game, my wife and daughter and my parents and siblings – all eight of them – cheering me on!
Fast forward 12 years and I'm back at Suncorp there with four van loads of travellers from Bundaberg, all us family that have multiplied and have married and have had kids.
Here we are ready to yell and scream ‘Queenslander' as my Little brother Felise (number 195) gears up to face the Blues in the first game of the series 2019.
We have been blessed as a family to have another person represent our state at the highest level.
Grateful for the opportunities that this country, state and town in Bundaberg have given us!
So Qld to win by 12
State of Origin troops back for round 13
Round 13 signal the return of the Origin troops, at least those who will be fit to take the field for their clubs, in what could be a fiercely contested round.
My match of the round is the Rabbitohs V Knights on Friday night. The Rabbitohs were ambushed last week by the Eels because of the absence of their origin players while the Knights had the week off.
This game will give us a good indication if the Knights final aspirations have any grounds in reality.
The Rabbitohs will have their origin players back, depending how they pull up. The short turn around doesn't help. But I think if Ponga backs up, the Knights will win this one.
My upset of the round is the Panthers at home to beat the Roosters…. I know you might think I'm crazy but momentum is a big thing in league.
The Roosters had the week off and they will have some battle weary origin players backing up. I think the Panthers could be set for an upset at home.
QLD v NSW
Kaufusi's Call round 13
Rabbitohs v Knights
Tigers v Raiders
Warriors v Storm
Sharks v Eels
Cowboys v Sea Eagles
Broncos v Titans
Panthers v Roosters
Bulldogs v Dragons