Queensland has, for the better part of the last decade, enjoyed dominance over their New South Wales counterparts.
This has come largely on the back of picking a form side. It certainly didn’t help that players like Thurston, Cronk, Slater and Smith never seemed to suffer form slumps but Mal Meninga was never scared to make a big call.
With all three QLD based sides struggling at the time of writing it’s not a shock that a fair few QLD Origin stars aren’t exactly tearing it up.
That said there are a few players battling for a Maroon jersey who are lighting up the competition.
We take a look at the form of just a few QLD Origin likelies below.
Cam Munster: Recently I posted that Luke Keary may be the form player of the competition. If he’s not, Munster is. He’s leading the Dally M count by a mile and has his Storm side sitting pretty at 5-0. One of the competition’s best players in any position, Munster can do it all. Will be the first player picked based on his previous all-star efforts for QLD and the Kangaroos and also his red hot form.
DCE: Almost the forgotten man in the QLD halves equation is the Maroons incumbent DCE. He’s leading a Manly side most see as wooden spoon contenders as if they were top four certs. He has a young, makeshift backline looking far more dangerous than they really are. His clutch field goal against the Bunnies sums this guy up. Could it finally be his time in the Origin arena?
Ben Hunt: The third Maroon half in red hot form is current Roos bench utility, Ben Hunt. He had a slow start to 2019 but almost to the second McGregor ended his farcical five into four experiment Hunt returned to form. He was electric against the Dogs which continued his rise. He’s now arguably leading the race to the Maroons’ number nine jumper.
Michael Morgan: Morgan has been solid this season without producing his late 2017 form. Ultimately the Cowboys have been fairly dire in 2019 but Morgan has been in everything positive for the Northerners. His versatility probably means he’s doesn’t have to be in red hot form to command a spot in the side but right now there are three halves ahead of him.
Kalyn Ponga: Looked much better since his return to the fullback role after an ill-fated shift in the number six. Ponga produced a mixed bag against the Dragons but was more good than bad this past weekend. Will likely walk into the vacant fullback position but he has yet to live up to the standard he set last year.
Corey Oates: Oates has had no issues finding the line this season but has lacked in other areas. He has been suspect in defence and caught out of position a few times. He’s leading the charge to replace Valentine Holmes but is yet to demand selection. He, like the Broncos, is performing well below his own high expectations thus far.
Matt Gillett: The rep main stay is looking good after a long injury lay off but he’s not the full deal just yet. A certainty to return to Origin you feel as though the best of Gillett is not far away. A head knock ended his last outing early but he was looking very much himself beforehand.
Coen Hess: I don’t think it’s too unfair to say Hess has not lived up to his enormous reputation thus far in 2019. I genuinely expected him to be the first forward picked come Origin time but he’s now genuinely at risk of losing his spot. He has failed to step up to fill the void left by Taumalolo. Still has time to turn it around but has been sub par this season.
Andrew McCullough: The Broncos’ struggles have been well documented and McCullough has fallen with the team. He is not a sparkly number nine but his role of the distributor has really suffered in the opening month and a bit. He’s fallen behind Hunt and Friend and unless he can turn it around will be watching from the stands.
Josh McGuire: McGuire has the QLD number 13 for as long as he wants it but looks as though he’s more interested in forging a menace tag than making metres. He’s very lucky to be lining up this weekend following a clear play at the face of Cam Munster. He’s not performing to the standards expected that saw Paul Green shift Taumalolo wide to accommodate his signing.