By Guest Writer Stephen Gallagher
The Queenslanders lead the series 1-0 after a hard fought win in Melbourne. A score line of 18-10 made sure that the favourites go in to the State Of Origin as favourites once again. This time, they head to New South Wales where the Blues will play in front of their home fans, trying to keep the series alive. Queensland, one of the greatest ever assembled Origin teams in history will be gunning for their seventh straight series victory. What can New South Wales do to prevent the dominance that their counterparts?
The Blues started off very well in game one, but a mixture of ill-discipline and perhaps the occasion getting to them let them down in game one. For the result to change, and a win – the Cockroaches will need to continue to start strong, and give it their all up front against the Canetoads.
The Blues I thought once they fell behind, were too busy trying to level Game One, instead of winning it. Electing for a penalty goal to level the scores in the second half was a bad decision. What made it worse was Todd Carney couldn’t add the two points. To beat Queensland, you must beat them. They will always have the strike power to fight back. Hopefully the Blues have learnt their lesson from this.
Queensland will no exactly how to dismantle New South Wales. They have done so for six years. The ultimate muscle up front which is a juggernaut which is seemingly indestructible. A unit is exactly the best way to describe Queensland. When one player lifts, they all do. To get the front foot is one step closer to glory. Much of the battle is done between the forwards. The gladiators.
The Blues need to forget the grudge against “that try” in game one – but they will have to use it as motivation. The referee’s will not change their decision. New South Wales have the team to win. They will have only grown as a team together, and at home – they have everything in front of them.
It will be won on defence. If the Blues can keep their pressure up on the two key men for Queensland – Cronk and Thurston they will have the ability and confidence to dictate the result. They were good to shut down Thurston in the first game, but to do it again is a must.
Queensland bleed desperation. A team which is defined by 80 minutes. A never say never attitude makes the Maroons such an awesome side. A committed brotherhood which will do their very best to prevent this going to a game three. It will be so tough to win in Sydney however. Queensland are tough though, so don’t rule them out at all. Not in the first minute, not in the last minute.
I predict a Blues win. Just. This will go to game three all square. They impressed me hugely in game one, and on home soil I think they will just be good enough to get the win. Blues 22-18.
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