Six Again: Representative round review, penalty try explained

First tackle: Penalty try clarification

The penalty try rule says, in effect, the referee has to decide whether a try would have been scored if not for the illegal actions of a defender. The punishment is a penalty try, with the conversion taken in front of the posts (because there is no certainty as to where the try would have been scored). There is no sin bin in this instance, because a try has been awarded, cancelling out that professional foul.

In Boyd Cordner's case, the bunker ruled he would have reached the ball well before the first Queensland defender, and as it sat up nicely, would have had ample time to score. The referees don't have to take into account hypothetical fumbles, failures to plant the ball correctly, imaginary dogs wandering onto the field, or anything else out of the ordinary. The claim that they couldn't be 100 percent sure that Cordner was going to score is as true as it is irrelevant.

In Queensland's instance, James Roberts grabbed Gavin Cooper as he was chasing a kick through in a very similar position to Cordner, the big difference being the kick bounced almost directly into the swooping arms of Tom Trbojevic. Cooper would never have reached the ball first, so in the opinion of the officials, could not have scored the try. Roberts did impede Cooper from reaching Trbojevic, and was correctly sent to the sin bin for a professional foul.

Second tackle: Hitting like a girl really hurts

Anyone inclined to use "girl" as a reference point for insulting the physical prowess of their mates needed to tune into the women's State of Origin on Friday night. The phrase "you hit like a girl" could only be seen as a compliment after the ladies from New South Wales and Queensland belted each other time and again during the hour-long contest.

The Blues were able to grab the win with a late try to Isabelle Kelly, her second for the night. The crowd at North Sydney Oval were treated to the kind of passion long-associated with the State of Origin concept., the celebrations at fulltime showing how much the win meant to the Blues players.

The positive reaction to the game on social media indicates there is a real appetite for women's rugby league, something that will please the NRL as it prepares to launch its women's competition later this year.

Third tackle: Hayne Plane's international flight grounded

Jarryd Hayne takes great pride in pulling on the Fiji jersey, as he did on Saturday evening against Papua New Guinea. The former Origin star played halfback in the international clash and handled the unfamiliar role well in a losing side.

Fiji were unable to match the hard-running, hard-hitting Kumuls, who dedicated their win to deceased teammate Kato Ottio, who died of heat stroke following a January training session in Port Moresby.

Fourth tackle: Good enough for Gordie

Seven minutes into the first half of State of Origin II and New South Wales tried to recreate a historic Gordon Tallis moment as Will Chambers ran dangerously close to the sideline. Latrell Mitchell combined with Josh Addo-Carr to grab Chambers and drag him over the chalk. Unlike one of the most celebrated moments in Origin history, this was deemed to be a penalty.

The Blues tried it again later in the game for the same result. It was a bit more obvious the second time with two players pushing the tackled Queenslander along like a shopping trolley. I guess it only counts if you perform it solo against a much smaller player.

Fifth tackle: Pongtastic

How good did Kalyn Ponga look on debut for Queensland? The Knights fullback skipped and jinked his way through the Blues line multiple times. When he wasn't making tacklers look foolish, he was throwing bullet-like cut-out passes to support players as well as the occasional flick pass.

In a few years' time, State of Origin watchers will be talking about Ponga in the same sentence as the greats of the game. Queenslanders will be debating whether Johnathan Thurston or Ponga was the greatest ever play-maker for the Maroons. He looked that good in the first 60 minutes of what will be a long and exciting Origin career.

Selectors just have to decide whether he takes Billy Slater's jersey or whether he would be better in the halves, where he proved that he can also tackle with the best of them.

Handover: Group hug anyone?

It is a common sight before any big sporting fixture to see players standing with their arms around each other as they belt out the national anthem. It's a sign of team unity, of brotherhood, of being prepared to give your all for the player next to you as you share a moment of national pride.

Queensland and New South Wales players did it as Advance Australia Fair was sung before Game 2 in Sydney and it was an impressive sight. Two groups of 17 of the nation's finest rugby league players, in their state colours, singing the national anthem.

What I haven't seen before, and I don't quite understand, were the five match officials standing together with their arms around each other. Were they steeling themselves for the whistle blowing they were about to undertake? Were they taking a united stance against any criticism they were more than likely to face? Please, it's really not about you lot.