Almanac Rugby League – Farewell Greg Inglis

 

 

Farewell “GI”. You’ll always be remembered.

 

The word “great” tends to be overused in rugby league, but I believe the word is strongly applicable to Greg Inglis. Certainly, anyone who has been in premiership wins and tasted success at State of Origin and Test level has a very strong pedigree.

 

More to the point, Inglis also achieved numerous individual honours, such as the Golden Boot Award (for best player in the world), Clive Churchill Medal (for player of the Grand Final), Dally M awards, and the Harry Sunderland Medal.

 

Inglis would undoubtedly consider himself very fortunate to have played alongside other all-time greats such as Cameron Smith, Billy Slater, Cooper Cronk and Johnathan Thurston.

 

Inglis finished as State of Origin’s leading tryscorer with 18 tries in 32 appearances, and he also scored 31 tries in 39 Tests. A tally of 263 NRL matches from 2005 until early 2019, featuring 149 tries, certainly reflect longevity and durability as well as greatness.

 

Sure, there were some tough times and controversies along the way, meaning his career could be described as a rollercoaster.

 

I first saw Inglis when he was a teenager, when he played for the Norths Devils in a Queensland Cup Colts match at Dolphin Oval in 2004. Raw-boned and gangly, but incredibly gifted. It was obvious that he had a big future in the game. Every time he touched the ball, he looked capable of making a huge impact. He could change a game in the blink of an eye. Give him a fraction of space or a fraction of a second, and he could get away from you. Put him at fullback, wing or centre, and he could make the position his own.

 

Inglis in full flight during his younger days was always a joy to watch. Graceful, flamboyant, fluent, elegant, poetry in motion.

 

Who could ever forget the try that Inglis set up in the 2008 Centenary Test when he attempted to snaffle a cross-kick and appeared to have bungled it as the ball cannoned forward off his chest and flew beyond the dead-ball line? What happened next had to be seen to be believed, as he leapt across the dead-ball line to retrieve the ball and instantly threw it over his head before his feet touched the ground?

 

As he bulked up, Inglis lost a little pace and didn’t quite have the same style as previously, yet there was still every chance that he would score a runaway try. Moreover, he became harder to stop from close range as he developed a knack of trying to barge and bustle his way through the opposition.

 

Having played for the Melbourne Storm from 2005 to 2010 before switching to the South Sydney Rabbitohs, Inglis was unlucky to be credited with only one NRL Grand Final win – with Souths in 2014 – after being in the Melbourne teams that were stripped of the 2007 and 2009 premierships due to salary cap breaches. Inglis was simply sensational in the 2007 Grand Final as he was best on ground in Melbourne’s 34-8 beating of Manly.

 

Allegations of assault, struggles with depression, and losing the chance to captain Australia due to a drink-driving charge meant Inglis sometimes made headlines for the wrong reasons and tarnished his image.

 

And, of course, there was the contentious issue of his eligibility in State of Origin, as the Kempsey-born Inglis played for Queensland on a technicality.

 

Love him or loathe him, the man known as “GI” indisputably made an indelible stamp on the so-called “greatest game of all”.

 

Do you really enjoy the Almanac concept?
And want to ensure it continues in its current form, and better? To help keep things ticking over please consider making your own contribution.

Become an Almanac (annual) member – CLICK HERE
One off financial contribution – CLICK HERE
Regular financial contribution (monthly EFT) – CLICK HERE

 

Comments

  1. Good call, Liam. A flawed genius seems a fair description to me. In some ways, I think the real test for Inglis lies ahead. My hope is that he will develop further into a real leader and model for indigenous kids, achieving something of the status of Artie Beetson.

Leave a Comment

*