yellow sock wrote:I do hope that they realise that its not quite over yet. There is two more games to go. lol
Some rugby league players can count up to three, so I suspect they may possibly be aware of that.
Some rugby league players can count up to three, so I suspect they may possibly be aware of that.
Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful. - Lucius Annaeus Seneca (attrib.)
I have lost my voice chanting New South Wales, New South Wales, New South Wales at the bar, one of the very few occasions I actually do lose my voice at a sports event
The bar I was at, in Darlington has so much shattered glass left hanging around it
just to point out the obvious
but how bad and biased was the refereeing last night?
NSW were pretty much playing against 14 men last night (Qld and the referee)
Your right the Queersland Grubs played with 15 players all night 2 in white jumpers
NEW SOUTH WALES
1. Fullback – Jarryd Hayne
I found it ridiculous to the point of laughter that some people were suggesting Hayne should be moved out of the fullback spot for Origin II. The superstar was the best player on the park in Brisbane, and the luxury that the fullback position provides him – to pop up wherever he can be most dangerous in attack – was a key to the Blues victory. Already an all-time Origin great, Hayne will again be the danger man for the Maroons, while the Blues will look to him to again stamp his class on proceedings.
2. Wing – Will Hopoate
The Parramatta back was 18th man for the Blues in the opening game of the series, and with Laurie Daley strongly hinting that he didn’t want to pick a rookie for this game, Hoppa Junior was always going to be the replacement for the injured Brett Morris. He’s been improving each week for Parramatta after his two-year break from the game while on mission duties, and is slowly getting back to the elite-level backline player he was at Manly. He handled Origin well in his lone game back in 2011, and his class is a welcome addition to the Blues wing.
3. Centre – Josh Dugan
Laurie Daley is unashamed Dugan fan, and with the injuries to the Morris twins, along with a three-try performance for the Dragons on Saturday night, it sees the 23-year-old earn a Blues recall. Despite his talent, this is a gamble by the NSW selectors. Dugan won’t be playing in his customary fullback spot, and though he performed well at right centre on Saturday, the difference in standard between a depleted Sharks outfit and the almighty Maroons doesn’t need to be pointed out. If Dugan isn’t 100% comfortable and prepared, Queensland will make him pay. At his very best, Dugan is match-winning x-factor. At his worst, he’s a game-costing brain fart waiting to happen.
4. Centre – Michael Jennings
The Roosters centre didn’t get a lot of opportunities in the first game of the series, as the Blues predominantly stuck to a game plan of attacking down the right hand side of the field, and targeting Johnathan Thurston. With the Blues trotting out a new right hand side centre/wing pairing, along with Queensland no doubt addressing their defensive issues from game I, look for the Blues to get Jennings more involved in Sydney. And with his pace and footwork, that’s most definitely a good thing for NSW.
5. Wing – Daniel Tupou
Tupou wasn’t asked to do a lot on debut, but he made very few mistakes, and was solid when occasionally targeted by Queensland’s kickers. Rookies will definitely take that in the first game of Origin football, and he’ll feel even more comfortable in Game 2 . With the Blues no doubt using the left side of the park more in Game 2 , look for Tupou’s mastery in the air to be utilised.
6. Five-Eighth: Josh Reynolds
The Bulldogs’ five-eighth was sensational in his first run-on game with the Blues. He was heavily involved, intense and gave 100% commitment – everything you’d expect from Reynolds. His chemistry in attack with Paul Gallen and Jarryd Hayne was crucial in many attacking raids down the right hand side for the Blues, and NSW will simply ask for more of the same from their number 6 at Homebush next Wednesday night.
7. Halfback: Trent Hodkinson
I was a little surprised that Hodkinson’s was criticised by a small amount of people for his performance in Origin I. I thought he was extremely solid, and played the role he was actually selected for to perfection; that’s all you want from your players. Those expecting chip and chases, speedy bursts to the line, or flick passes will always be disappointed by the Bulldogs number 7, for that simply isn’t his game. But minimal mistakes, a strong kicking game and extremely solid defence are the cornerstones of Hodkinson’s game, and will be again next week..
8. Prop – Paul Gallen
The Sharks lock moves into the front-row to accommodate the return of bruise brother Greg Bird, but it will have little to no impact on his game as he always plays like a prop in the middle of the park anyway. We’re so used to Gallen’s Herculean efforts in the Blues jumper, that we now take his brilliant performances at Origin for granted. Gallen was absolutely sensational in game I, yet he received few plaudits form the pundits, myself included. After copping a cheap shot from Josh Papalii, Gallen went on a rampage, smashing Maroons in defence, and charging at the line like a mad man. Yet it was the subtleties in his game that were actually the key to the Blues attack. His ability to get balls away after drawing a number of defenders was the starting point to most of the Blues attacking runs down the right.
9. Hooker – Robbie Farah
Farah showed in Brisbane that he doesn’t have to overplay his hand, and try to do too much, in order to be effective. The trust the hooker showed in his halves was an underrated narrative coming out of the opening game. Not only did it give the Blues playmakers confidence, but it enabled Farrah to simply do his job, which he did very well. A key player for the Blues, the Tigers number 9 brings plenty of heart, along with talent, to the NSW team.
10. Prop – Aaron Woods
After whispers that he was overawed by the occasion last year, Woods was excellent in his return to Origin football. Before game one, I mentioned that his role would be to provide “incisive runs, solid defence and the ability to handle the early fire and brimstone from the Maroons pack”, and that is precisely what he did. His passion in the sheds at halftime indicates that he now feels at home in the Blues jersey, and with his confidence sky-high, I expect him to have another positive impact in Game 2 .
11. Second-row – Ryan Hoffman
This guy should just be nicknamed ‘Seven’. Every time the Blues selectors read his name out, you know you’re going to get a ‘7 out of 10′ game from him. Though some like to look at this as negative, the truth is, it’s massive positive, as you need players you can rely upon. Hoffman always conjures up words like ‘dependable’ and ‘consistent’, and being that reliable is a skill in itself.
12. Second-row – Beau Scott
There was talk of moving Scott to right centre, which would have the dual benefit of allowing Greg Bird to slide back into the backrow, while also allowing the Blues to cover the loss of Josh Morris. But Scott remains in the second-row and Gallen moves forward in the pack, and it remains to be seen whether that was the right move by the NSW selectors. Scott’s defence was sensational in Origin I, and though he’s not explosive or dynamic in attack, nor will he be asked to be either.
13. Lock – Greg Bird
I love this time of year, because it means I get to pull out the most well-worn, over-used comment in rugby league: “made for Origin”. Yet, how else would you seriously describe the returning-from-suspension Greg Bird? The only thing missing from his Origin resume is actually the most important thing: a series win. Rest assured, that fact really annoys Bird, and he’ll do everything he can – once again – to rectify that situation.
14. James Tamou
I’m still waiting for Tamou to utilise his size and athleticism to their maximum potential at Origin level. I’m not sure the big prop actually realises how good he is, and how good he can be. Don’t get me wrong, he was still very solid in the opening game of the series, but he has the ability to be a match-winner in the front row for the Blues. If he ever puts it all together, look out Queensland, and NSW will be hoping Game 2 is when Clark Kent becomes Superman on a more consistent basis.
15. Anthony Watmough
‘The ball of fury’. With his low centre of gravity and amazing leg strength, Watmough is like cannon ball. He’s very hard to tackle, aggressive in defence and needs little to time to work himself into the game, which all make him the ideal reserve. He was a little quiet in Origin I, but there is rarely a game that Watmough plays in that he doesn’t have an impact, so look for a monster Origin II from the Manly mongrel.
16. Luke Lewis
The veteran forward sat out of the Sharks match against the Dragons on the weekend, raising questions about his Origin selection. But the selectors faith in Lewis has never been in question, highlighted by the fact they picked him for Origin I despite him having only played two NRL games for the season. He didn’t let anyone down then, and he won’t in Game 2 .
17. Trent Merrin
I only recently learned that the Dragons prop is dating pro surfer Sally Fitzgibbons. That’s got absolutely nothing to do with Origin, nor his selection for the Blues, but I felt it warranted mentioning. Merrin had impact in attack and defence in game I, after I questioned his selection. That’s now two good Origin games in a row. Another solid performance in Sydney will go a long way to silencing the doubters and making them look silly, for which I will be at the head of the queue.
After suffering a shoulder injury in Game 1, Slater will be wearing so much strapping tape he’d never make weight required in his jockeying days.
Down a yard on pace, but Queensland’s best by a couple of lengths in Brisbane. In fact, the only better player on the park was his opposite number.
No one stands on the end of a backline and gets fed tries by Greg Inglis quite like Darius Boyd. His club form has picked up in recent weeks, and he could find himself in the coveted No. 1 jersey on game day, pending injury issues.
Inglis was well handled by Josh Morris and Beau Scott in Brisbane, so he’ll be happy to see the back of at least one of those pests in the return bout.
Still, after trudging out of Perth in a moon boot on Saturday night he might be seeing as much game time as Morris himself.
Although he looked like a man still on the comeback trail in Game 1, Hodges’ commitment couldn’t be faulted. Those trademark dummy-half dashes will need a little more zing if they’re to trouble the Blues this time round.
If they played Origin football in Futurama, Brent Tate would be one of those disembodied heads in a jar, attached to a robot body so he could represent the Maroons forever. And he still wouldn’t be as tough as the genuine article.
Survived an unexpected audition for Cirque du Soleil at the hands of Josh Reynolds and Scott in Game 1, yet remained rock solid on the kick return. Expect the same in Sydney, minus the acrobatics.
The only thing more dangerous than Johnathan Thurston in a State of Origin game is Johnathan Thurston backing up after a quiet State of Origin game.
Be afraid, New South Wales. Be very afraid.
Was handed the keys to the Ferrari 10 minutes into Game 1, but clearly hadn’t done enough hours behind the wheel of Cooper Cronk’s pride and joy to pass the test. In fairness to Cherry-Evans, his forward runners were rarely where he expected them to be either.
An entire training camp at the controls of the Maroon machine will help his cause.
Didn’t bring his resurgent club form into the Origin arena until his second stint in Game 1. Coach Mal Meninga will have the Cowboys front rower so fired up that his first hit-up could rupture the space-time continuum.
If he somehow hits 88 miles per hour, strap yourself in.
Not even an ankle injury could stop Cameron Smith plotting and scheming to the death in the first game, and he’s backed that up with stirring performances for a Storm team decimated by injury.
The key in this Maroons spine whether on two legs or one.
The driving force behind Queensland’s stirring second-half comeback last time round. Needs to bring that sort of brutality onto the park from the first minute in Sydney, not the 51st.
Thaiday might not get many minutes given his lack of match fitness, but will pose a constant danger if he and Slater can work up a right-side combination with Cherry-Evans.
Carried his career-best club form onto the Origin paddock in Brisbane, though if he had his time over he’d give it all up to take a superb early ball from Cronk on the chest and crash over near the sticks.
Will likely return to his favoured left side to accommodate Thaiday’s return.
Quiet in Game 1, but gave selectors a timely reminder of his versatility when filling in at centre for the Rabbitohs against the Warriors. It was as good as McQueen has looked in a year where he hasn’t kicked on as hoped.
It’s hard to decide which was Ben Te’o's most damaging performance of 2014 – his rousing effort off the bench for Queensland in Brisbane, or his measured post-presser spray of Danny Weidler last week.
A repeat of the former will be vital to the Maroons’ hopes in Sydney.
An unexpected standout in his Origin debut, threatening to break through the Blues line on a number of occasions without ever quite cracking it. If he could shine in that classic encounter, he can shine again next Wednesday.
Has worn the red of Queensland in Super Rugby but is still to taste Origin football. A big chance of a starting role, but the way Michael Jennings danced around him on Sunday wasn’t encouraging.
The Warriors prop had people crying foul after his omission in the first game. He is in the squad here, but whether his club form will push him into the 17 remains to be seen.
Has thrived as Brisbane’s full-time No. 7 this season, handling the bulk of the playmaking given Josh Hoffman is a five-eighth in name only. Could be a season too soon for Origin, but Broncos combinations may be vital.
The fleet-footed Raider has done enough for Mal to draft him into the squad here. Is this just for the Origin experience? Or will he be used in a Matt Bowen-esque bench role? Depending on Slater’s fitness, he also could be yet another candidate for the Maroons’ fullback spot.
Hasn’t played Origin football since courageously carrying a dislocated shoulder through Game 1, 2011. Parramatta’s strong 2014 form sees him recalled from the rep football wilderness, and he’ll be a natural fit in the left centre position should Inglis vacate it.
A late call-up to the squad following the withdrawal of Josh Papalii and Corey Parker, big Dave will want to make an impact if he gets onto the Origin arena for the first time since 2012. A true rocks or diamonds prospect, it’s anyone’s guess what he will produce if selected.
Cecil B DeMille Life Time Achievement
origin 2 is on tonight. I am hoping that NSW can win tonight. There is a good chance they can (fingers crossed)
A very palpable hit!
Cecil B DeMille Life Time Achievement
so happy to see NSW win this game..... and the series
Haven't seen the Blues win in soooo long
ABOUT BLOODY TIME BUT MUST SAY THE GAME WAS ABSOLUTE SH!T!!!
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