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Queensland edged out New South Wales in the first match of this year’s Australian State of Origin series but one thinks that the Maroons will win Wednesday’s second game easily.
New South Wales coach Laurie Daley has made only one change to the Blues team that lost 4-6 to Queensland at ANZ Stadium in Sydney and that change was enforced due to Boyd Cordner sustaining an injury. Originally, Daley picked Wade Graham to replace Cordner but the Cronulla Sutherland second-row forward was scrubbed out by the Australian National Rugby League judiciary for a piece of foul play – a high shot on North Queensland halfback Johnathon Thurston while playing for the Sharks. Tyson Frizell, a hard-running St George Illawarra back rower, has come into the New South Wales squad for Graham and he deserves his chance at the very highest level of rugby league. But one thinks that Daley should have made more than one injury-enforced switch.
James Tedesco should be the New South Wales fullback instead of Matt Moylan, Josh Morris should have retired from Blues duty because he offers nothing offensively at right centre, Robbie Farah is not starting at hooker for Wests Tigers but he will be there at kick off for his state and Dylan Walker has been horribly out of form for Manly Warringah. So one thinks that New South Wales has not chosen the best Blues players in at least four positions and one has concerns about the likes of winger Blake Ferguson, five-eighth James Maloney and utility forward Greg Bird. New South Wales has won only one of the last 10 Australian State of Origin series and its most recent match versus Queensland at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane resulted in a 6-52 loss.
Daley has coached New South Wales in four Australian State of Origin games against Queensland at Suncorp Stadium, the most parochial arena in rugby league. New South Wales has lost three of its four Daley-led Australian State of Origin matches versus Queensland in Brisbane, the last two such games by 24 points and 46 points. This year’s Australian State of Origin series is on line following Queensland’s narrow victory at ANZ Stadium two and a half weeks ago and one thinks that New South Wales may find itself on the wrong end of a hammering if the Maroons hit their straps early on.
Like Daley, Queensland boss Kevin Walters have made just the one injury-enforced change for the second Australian State of Origin match. Nate Myles, who has been nothing short of dreadful for Manly Warringah in the National Rugby League, is out of action so Walters has promoted Josh McGuire to Queensland’s starting line-up and Jacob Lillyman goes from 18th man to a member of the Maroons interchange bench. One thinks that the injury to Myles, whom Manly Warringah signed to placate one of his best friends, Daly Cherry-Evans, has strengthened Queensland against a mediocre New South Wales.
Normally one is reluctant to back rugby league sides to win by cricket scores because dominant teams have a tendency to ease up once the game is as good as over. What is different about an Australian State of Origin series match in Brisbane is that the 50,000-plus Queensland supporters in attendance will not allow the Maroons to put their collective cue in the rank, such is their hatred of New South Wales. That is why Queensland thrashed New South Wales 52-6 in Brisbane 11 months ago when the Maroons could have taken it easy in the latter stages. Queenslanders really hate New South Welshmen.
Bookmakers are starting to post their Australian State of Origin II markets and the bet that appeals is Queensland to beat New South Wales by 13 or more points at 9/4 3.25 +225 2.25 2.25 -0.44 with Betfair
Queensland -12.5 to beat New South Wales
Wednesday 22nd June, 11:15 GMT
Odds: 9/4 3.25 +225 2.25 2.25 -0.44