With the opening Origin match of being held in Melbourne on Wednesday June 6th, it’s getting really close to that time of year.
Read on, if you can be bothered to find out who I’ve picked in both sides, and who was unlucky.
Tedesco would be the first to admit it hasn’t been a seemless club transition to the Roosters, but in another beaten Blues side last year, he was one of a few who will remain, and who were worthy to retain their spot. Solid in stature, safe under the high ball, and athletic to boot.
I’m not one for picking players out of position usually, but ‘Tommy Turbo’ deserves his spot. He was crippled with injury last year, but when he’s hot, he’s effortlessly talented. A great ball runner, and loves getting involved.
A young kid who has matured over the last season and a half. I’ve liked Latrell since I first saw him play. He’s playing better every week, and he’s got the ability to break the game open with a fend or strong leg work.
This Scottish bloke has been the form centre of the competition in my eyes. He’s really strong close to the line, and solid defensively. Things happen when Aitken gets the ball. He’s full of confidence.
Name a better winger in the game at the moment then ‘The Fox’. I’ll wait. He’s one of those guys you just love to watch. Powerful, think South African Bryan Habana. The broad shoulders and pace bring the resemblance. He’s undeniable. Has to be one of the first picked. Loves scoring tries in two’s.
The most important game manager in the NRL. The way he can control a match is uncanny. He can’t tackle to save his life, loves giving away penalties, but he’s just too good to keep out. His experience at Origin level will be important here.
The halfback Queensland will have to be worried about for the next ten years. Cleary got through his first game back from a knee injury with flying colours. Cleary is young, but he’s going to get the job done. He’s reliable. Plus, with his club mate alongside him, you can see these two causing havoc.
Was unlucky not to be selected last year, but with that will only come fuel to perform at this level this time. The best thing he did was move from Canberra to Saint George Illawarra. He’s been unleashed and is hard to control. Love his work load, and the way he gets stuck in.
The form hooker in the game right now. The way he darts out of dummy half is clinical. He’s smart, he’s fast, and he’s got a really good pack around him in this side. I believe Cook has the potential to play 9 for the Blues for years to come with the form he’s currently in. Just get him in and around the ruck and watch him go.
I think it’s only fair that he gets picked based on having a brilliant moustache. Other than that, he’s really running amuck in the NRL. A force on the field. Hard to handle when ball in hand, and also loves to punish a bloke with a shoulder. Good enforcer with good size.
Despite the form of the Bulldogs, Jackson is a guy who lives up to the old adage of ‘bleeding blue’. He’s been the man of the series before because you know you’ll always get the best out of him in big matches. Work rate is massive.
Boyd Cordner (c)
The captain makes it of course, despite some frustrations in his own performances this year. Much like the man listed above him, he’s a big game player. The sort of bloke you need out there on a footy field. Gets stuck in and lets his actions do the talking.
This Welshman is just a passionate football player. He’s always there week in, week out, making a difference for his footy side. You can always see his effort, and always gives his best. He’s strong, and he’s tough. Plus, if you’re not careful, he’ll score on you too.
In my opinion, the games most dangerous player right now. Sometimes you watch him play and just ask yourself “how the hell did Peachey do that?”
His timing is impeccable. His versatility means he can play almost anywhere in the side, and he’s the sort of player who can get the job done no matter how long he plays for.
He’s a classic footballer. No frills. Loves his brother, and has that Brett/Glenn Stewart pairing with him, where they can just read each other’s game well and pop up anywhere on the field. Deserves his spot on the bench.
Despite some injury concerns, Graham is an important cog to this team. He’s tough as nails, and his skillset compliments an all-round ability to play the game. Graham is committed on defence, and offers great footwork with ball in hand.
Jack De Belin
From being the 20th, 19th, and 18th man last year, De Belin gets a deserved crack at Origin. The physical presence he brings is imposing. A player that always punches above his weight. He gets involved with everything, and can create a lot with his defensive muscle.
THE UNLUCKY ONES
McInnis is in incredible form right now, but Damien Cook is a little bit more rounded with his game than McInnis. Nothing to be disappointed about, with two quality hookers to choose from, one just has to miss out.
One of the many Dragons players whose name gets brought up, not just because they’re top of the table, but because he’s been putting in a great shift every week. If there’s an injury concern around Wade Graham, I could see Tariq Sims going in and not letting the side down.
His time will come. Cotric loves scoring a try, and is a big rig. Still young. His time will come. I do not doubt that.
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