Queensland Maroons V New South Wales Blues – Suncorp Stadium – Kickoff: Who knows? It’ll definitely be after 10pm.
It’s that time of the year again.
Where Kiwis like myself pretend we are from Queensland or New South Wales and get in behind the State Of Origin.
A spectacle I look forward to every year, this year could spell the end of some absolute Origin legends that have made a remarkable impact over the last ten years.
Legends like Cronk, Smith, Thurston, all have been the backbone of a unprecedented dynasty for the Cane Toads. Who knows what their representative futures hold after this series.
Then there’s the likes of the debutantes representing each state.
Anthony Milford, who less than a month ago was representing Samoa. He has the world at his feet. We know exactly what this dynamic half is capable of. Milf gets his chance with Thurston out. Can he replicate the dominance that Thurston can produce?
Dylan Napa, this Roosters hard hitter will be unleashed. Every tackle he seems to make is harder than the last. He’s great will ball in hand too, offers a great role for the Queenslanders.
Nathan Peats gets the call up for NSW in the 9 jersey. This spot is a weakness for the Blues, and Peats needs to be able to make this jersey his own. If he can, it’s his for the next five years. Being shunted by the Eels was the best thing for his career. He’s been brilliant at the Titans.
Jake Trbojevic is the other one donning the sky blue for the first time. His brother Tom unluckily struck down with injury was a sure bet.
Trbojevic will be tussling against Manly team-mate Nate Myles. Hopefully this Kangaroo will play his heart out.
Then you think about the return of Mitchell Pearce. His highly publicised off-field indiscretions will always haunt him, however his form in undeniable this season. Pairing with former team mate James Maloney will also benefit his return. He must silence all his critics and dominate.
There’s no doubting there’s pressure on Queensland. They’ve had several players succumb to injury leading to fringe Maroons being picked to get the job done.
They’re a quality side though. Never underestimate, and never write this team off. Championship sides always find a way to win. That’s one thing Queensland can do no matter the situation, and it’s an admirable attribute to have. Winners win.
The Blues really crack in to a new era. New captain Boyd Cordner will want to take the leadership to another level. His actions on the field show he’s the right man for the job. And with 16 other men around him wanting to achieve the same goal: the Blues have to beat themselves, and Queensland to win.
It will be tough. It always is. Suncorp Stadium will be a sea of maroon. The Queenslanders have to get their forwards going from the start.
New South Wales can’t afford to become complacent. They need to start strong and build in every set.
TIP: New South Wales by 8. Tyson Frizell first try scorer.
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