It already feels strange that another State Of Origin game is happening this Wednesday.
There seems to not be that certain ‘aura’ around it at the moment, and game one to me definitely felt like just another game of rugby league.
While the media tormented Queensland with calls of being the worst side in Origin history, they turned up, fought hard, and let everyone, including myself, eat their words.
While I did say don’t write them off, because lets be honest, It’s Queensland. You can NEVER write them off, but they did do exactly what they’ve done for years, and got up as the underdog.
So it’s pressure on New South Wales, who find themselves in the exact same situation as they did in 2019, but with more pressure building against them.
While injuries have played their part in both sides, with Alexander Brimson, Christian Welch and Coen Hess (form related) all-out – Valentine Holmes, Dunamis Lui, and Moeaki Fotuaika are bringing the heat for the Cane Toads.
Another head knock sees Boyd Corner’s career in jeopardy, which is hard to swallow for the Roosters and Blues captain. With Cameron Murray out for the series injured too, Nathan Brown and Isaah Yeo have their time to shine from the bench on debut.
Add to that Cody Walker getting a start after an impressive display off the pine in game one, Luke Keary finds himself in the 18 jersey, ready for a call up when or if it’s needed.
While the completion rate was down for both sides, it was certainly Queensland who made the most of the gameplay in the first match up.
New South Wales will be feeling the heat without a doubt. They are on their home turf, staring down the barrel of a series loss, and they have to really deliver.
While they weren’t awful in game one, there are some massive improvements to be made by them.
The line speed in defence was atrocious. If they wait for Queensland to do their thing again, they will be punished for it.
Where their strengths lie is the speed of their outside backs. They are genuine metre-eaters.
Queensland will do their bit to control the speed of the game yet again. Munster and Cherry-Evans were strong in that department, and their kicking game was solid.
The question needs to be asked to the New South Wales forwards. Are you coming to play?
They lacked heart in game one, and they didn’t do their job. They didn’t go forward. The opportunities were lacking because they were playing laterally. Need more grunt and meet the Queenslanders head-on.
The Maroons will not stray too far from what got them success last Wednesday. If they’re able to frustrate the Blues in the first half, we might see yet again another stunning ambush.
New South Wales being at home will play some sort of factor, and they have to show up, because in Game Three at Queensland, there will be no favours for the Cockroaches.
This will be another close game. Queensland will be in it right until the death, as always.
New South Wales will sneak through and win by a try. 24-18. With Angus Crichton scoring first.
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