Origin 2

by Warren Boland

Will Origin 2, now a sell-out in front of 80,000 fans, be a series-winner for New South Wales or series-leveller for Queensland?

Much anticipated after the Blues won Origin 1 by 28-4, the two sides look much more evenly matched the second time around.

New South Wales with the same 17 have to perform at least as well, and add  a few variations because Queensland will have done their homework . Coach Kevin Walters says they can not stop Andrew Fifita but they aim to limit the damage he will do.

The revamped, new and improved, Queensland team will aim to get a faster start to sets, a stronger surge in the rucks, and quicker play the balls. Early on they may kick early in the set. They will strive for better field position than last time to allow them to put in more attacking kicks on the last tackle or to launch their talented backline from 20 or 30 metres out.

It is very hard to split the two teams.

Home ground, home-crowd, and powerful forwards in slippery conditions may give the Blues a slight advantage but the Maroons will be primed to seek revenge.

Of the debutants, I will be fascinated to see how well the huge, yet fast, Coen Hess performs. He sure knows his way to the try-line.

Here are more thoughts from me for ABC News  on the significance of this match :

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-06-21/state-of-origin-preview-queensland-maroons-nsw-blues-new-era/8634282?section=sport

 

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