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NSW Blues will be better in Perth but can they match Queensland Maroons’ desire?

Maroons five-eighth Cameron Munster was in better form than any of the Blues; NSW half Nathan Cleary is suspect to intense kick strain and Queensland had the youth and enthusiasm to win the ruck.

Fittler’s adjustments imply the Blues’ line pace shall be higher, particularly with Jake Trbojevic taking it ahead. However that doesn’t assure it can cease Munster. Conventional techniques to tire playmakers, just like the Blues working at former Maroons five-eighth Darren Lockyer to pressure him into repeated tackling, gained’t work so effectively in opposition to Munster. His stellar degree of health since swearing off the syrup even made me think about doing the identical, albeit momentarily.

Apisai Koroisau will replace Damien Cook as the Blues’ starting hooker.

Apisai Koroisau will change Damien Cook dinner because the Blues’ beginning hooker.Credit score:Getty

The inclusion of left-side centre Matt Burton provides the Blues an alternate kicker to Cleary. Burton boots the ball so effectively he may ship it down a curved chimney.

The inclusion of Burton’s former Panthers teammate Api Koroisau as a beginning dummy-half ought to imply the ball finds the kickers extra effectively. It was additionally apparent from the Sydney sport that NSW wanted to match the Queensland two-hooker sport of Ben Hunt and Harry Grant. Moreover, NSW’s bench hooker, Damien Cook, hasn’t been working as a lot this season and the Blues want extra influence from dummy-half.

However the Blues should do greater than protect their weaknesses. Fittler has to anticipate any new Queensland assault. NSW fullback James Tedesco stands up shut within the line of defense on the early tackles and is subsequently weak to kicks behind him. When the Storm’s Jahrome Hughes kicked early on Friday night and Broncos winger Selwyn Cobbo fumbled and Munster adopted by to pressure the ball and rating a attempt, it may need been a dry run for Munster calling on Maroons half Daly Cherry-Evans to kick early.


4 years in the past, when NSW squared the sequence in Perth, TV imaginative and prescient of each dressing rooms seconds earlier than kick-off confirmed that the Blues have been extremely motivated, whereas the Maroons have been distracted. I later requested then Queensland coach, Kevin Walters, why this was. He defined {that a} ball had wedged within the netting of the AFL-style dressing room and his gamers have been intent on throwing different balls as much as dislodge it.

This gained’t occur underneath Slater. The feedback from the Blues camp that Queensland assistant coach Cameron Smith is the Maroons’ main weapon by way of his tips about slowing down the play-the-ball are a distraction. It gained’t affect the referee. Moreover, Slater is in cost. At conferences, Smith speaks; as does Johnathan Thurston, but it surely’s Billy who wraps it up.

Nonetheless, it’s value remembering that another play-the-ball within the Sydney sport and the rating would have been tied. Because the Blues look to Perth, maybe the picture of Cotter at 4am is a reminder that at Origin degree, within the contest between need and preparation, need often wins.

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