It’s strange to think we’re so close to State Of Origin game one.
The build-up has been a little quiet and has really snuck upon us, with the grand final only being played just over a week ago.
With three consecutive Wednesday’s of State Of Origin, it will really be interesting to see how it pans out.
Game one is being played in Adelaide, the city of churches. The Queensland side might have to pray to get through this game unscathed.
Fielding eight debutantes, this is really a shade of their former selves. A massive injury toll, and plenty of other factors coming into it, Queensland are definitely going to be the underdogs. A tag they relished in for a long time.
Under the guiding eye of Wayne Bennett and Mal Meninga, their aura will inspire a lot of these young players, and you will see some very spirited performances. These are two coaches you do not want to let down.
Wayne Bennett, arguably the greatest coach of all time, and Mal Meninga coaching the Maroons through the greatest Origin success in history – this new era will be a challenge for them both.
While Queensland has their backs against the wall, they still have a very established halves combination of Cameron Munster and Daly Cherry-Evans which will really help control the game and the players around them.
I find Queensland to be the most competitive against New South Wales upfront. Props Josh Papalii and Christian Welch have been formidable opponents in 2020, and Jake Friend makes his long-awaited debut in the Maroon jersey.
One player that will take the challenge in his stride is Tino Fa’asuamaleaui. There’s no way this young bloke will back down in a fight.
Queensland has nothing to lose, and that makes them dangerous.
New South Wales are favourites to win this series, and a lot of people are backing them to go 3-0.
The Blues have been successful under Brad Fittler’s coaching, and the pressure will start to build on them to be successful this year around.
It’s a wonderfully talented backline the Blues are sporting. The Dally M player of the year, Dally M fullback of the year, and a Dally M winger of the year – it’s a fit and firing backline that will have the confidence of success behind them to get the job done.
In the halves, Luke Keary and Nathan Cleary partner up for the first time, but they have plenty of potential to make things work really well together.
The forwards will need to front up early. Make some early impact, rattle the Cane Toads, and see how the game unfolds.
What will unravel for Queensland will be their bench. It’s lacking in impact, but I don’t doubt the four players will do their part to make an impact.
The Cockroaches will need to keep the momentum up from the interchange, and they’ve got a bench that can do just that.
There’s no way I’m going to write Queensland off. They’re young, they’re up against it, and that’s where we’ve seen them silence New South Wales in the past. This is a must-win game for them in terms of the series, as game two is held in Sydney.
If the Blues believe in themselves, they can really get the job done. They’ve got a good enough side to win and win well, but they have to play for a full eighty and not give the Maroons a sniff.
A Keary kick to Daniel Tupou to score the first try, and New South Wales to prevail 30-16. A couple of late tries will blow the scoreline out in what will be a tight, competitive outing for both sides.
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