Arguably the most important meet on the rugby league calendar is that of the New South Wales Blues and Queensland Maroons State of Origin face-off. Astonishingly NSW enter the game slight favorites; surprisingly so considering the Maroons have taken out the past seven encounters. In association with Cameron Smith, Johnathon Thurston and Billy Slater; Greg Ingliss – the man of the moment as we see it, joins the spearhead attack to impose further damage to the Blues outfit.
Despite the loss of Kurt Gidley, New South Wales has prepared well; however, debut five-eighth James Maloney along with Robbie Farah, Mitchell Pearce and Jarryd Hayne will need to bring their a-game if the Blues are going to stand a chance and break their incredibly long State of Origin’s drought – however, don’t count them out just yet; if there’s one thing Origin has taught us; expect the underdog to come out fighting!
In preparation ahead of a greasy ANZ Stadium ground; the Maroons have chosen to stack their bench with quick back-rowers; Sam Thaiday and Nate Myles will adopt an aggressive approach to their games; and play forward of the half.
Whilst Cameron Smith will be central to QLD success; Slater, Ingliss and Thurston will play an equal role in ensuring the Maroons remain successful in their surge towards eight consecutive State of Origin series wins. Should NSW have a chance of emerging victorious, a valiant Robbie Farah cannot afford to second-guess himself or put a foot wrong stepping up against the Australian captain heading an impressive Maroons outfit.
Holden State of Origin Game 1
New South Wales v Queensland
ANZ Stadium, Wednesday 8:05pm
Man Of the Match Tip: Greg Ingliss