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Andrew Johns says NSW Blues coach Brad Fittler has been in this hole before – he can dig himself out

So is Penrith’s Api Koroisau. His mixture with Damien Prepare dinner generally is a masterstroke.

The Maroons did so much proper in recreation one, however crucial factor was they received the ruck.

They slowed down NSW, limiting Nathan Cleary, Isaah Yeo and Jarome Luai. And, off the again of that, they pressured Cleary’s kicking recreation.

On the flipside, Queensland halves Cameron Munster and Daly Cherry-Evans had time and house towards a fatigued NSW center.

Munster produced a Wally Lewis-like efficiency — the best accolade there’s for a Queenslander.

The NSW center males of Junior Paulo, Payne Haas and Reagan Campbell-Gillard have been too massive.

I believed it might be the Blues’ biggest energy however, failing to get a good share of possession, it grew to become their biggest weak spot.

The Maroons drew first blood in the Origin series.

The Maroons drew first blood within the Origin collection.Credit score:Getty

In Origin I, there have been 70 further play-the-balls in comparison with an everyday NRL recreation. In the event you assume that’s simple, go exterior and do 35 10-metre intervals and see how a lot you’re dragging your bottom.

This stat reveals that solely sure folks can play Origin. It assessments you bodily and mentally as a result of the depth by no means stops.

Beginning Cameron Murray, together with Trbojevic, offers the Blues extra agility within the center, that means they’ll pace up the line of defense.

These two can even assist tighten the marker defence, which was one other space of concern in recreation one.

Queensland received us with the one-two punch of Grant and Hunt in. Now, NSW can fight it as a result of they’ve Koroisau.


The most effective consultant groups through which I performed had each Danny Buderus and Craig Wing working collectively out of dummy-half.

Attacking out of dummy-half places much less strain on the halves. For NSW, it additionally takes strain of Yeo.

Look ahead to Koroisau and Prepare dinner and work extra with fullback James Tedesco.

The number of Matt Burton at left centre means Stephen Crichton will shift to proper — however largely it helps Cleary.

He offers Cleary that kicking choice down the left facet, as he did for Penrith final yr after they received the NRL premiership.

In recreation one, Cleary produced 20 kicks for NSW whereas Luai did two. For the Maroons, Cherry-Evans did 13 kicks whereas Munster had 9.

Burton will be the foil that Cleary was lacking in recreation one.

Maroons rise once more

When gamers similar to Cameron Smith, Billy Slater and Greg Inglis retired, there was numerous discuss the place the subsequent technology of superstars would come from.

It didn’t take lengthy. That is the Maroons’ finest staff since all of the champions retired.

A tough-working pack, with stars within the backbone and coming off the bench, spells hassle for NSW.

After the sport one, Nathan Cleary stated, “Origin is about stopping tries and Queensland stopped extra.”

Valentine Holmes did it a number of instances. He’s again to his finest kind.


Coming off the bench, Pat Carrigan was virtually man of the match and would’ve been if not for Munster.

He’s a really elite participant who will probably be a Queensland and perhaps Australian captain of the long run.

The one knock I can placed on Queensland heading into Origin II is wingers Selwyn Cobbo and Murray Taulagi are inexperienced, however they’ve the temperament to deal with it.

Cobbo dealt with every part thrown at him in recreation one.

The decision

NSW will probably be stung by the outcome within the first recreation.

The ruck defence of Trbojevic and Murray, together with their marker defence, will assist.

Simply because the Maroons put strain on Cleary in recreation one, the Blues should put strain on Cherry-Evans and Munster.

I’m tipping one other epic like recreation one however with a unique outcome.

Joey’s tip: NSW by 8.
First try-scorer: James Tedesco.
Man of the match: James Tedesco.

Watch the State of Origin solely dwell and free on Channel 9 and 9Now.

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