Queensland are only one win away from the most unlikely of Origin Series wins thanks to their upset win in Adelaide last Wednesday.
They again enter tomorrow night’s contest as heavy underdogs however we should all know by now that this suits the Maroons perfectly.
Below are the reasons they’ll wrap up the Series tomorrow night, and also the reasons they might not:
Why They’ll Win
– They Know The Way: The Maroons beat the Blues in Game One. So they’ll just do the same again, right!? Dane Gagai absolutely lapped Jack Wighton out wide in the series opener. I have no doubt in the world the ball will be thrown wide to Gagai early and often.
Capewell also showed up his more fancied opponent in Gutherson, which I’d guess is why he has been retained in the centre spot for Game Two. Bennett has also kept Hunt on the bench after his substitution kick started the Maroons attack last week.
They know if they’re close enough at half-time that their class in the forwards, halves and in Gagai will rise and they’ll have enough to overrun the Blues again.
– Bench IMPACT: This bench is better in Game Two than it was in Game One. With all due respect to Coen Hess, I’m not sure how his name was called over Jayden Su’A for the run on spot. That has been corrected with the monstrous Moeaki Fotuaika joining Hunt, Arrow and Collins on the bench.
Imagine repelling Josh Papalii for 22 or-so minutes only to see Collins and Fotuaika running on? No thank you. This bench allows Su’A and Kaufusi to both play 80 minutes with a rotation of the three middle spots. It could be as simple as three off, three on for the first two sets of subs, with Hunt to come on late in the first half.
This allows one interchange for Bennett to use as he sees fit. Pretty much the perfect bench all things considered. It’s just a shame that Welch will be missing for the run on side or this is QLD’s best forward pack.
– Wayne Bennett: At 10-0 at half-time, who honestly thought QLD could come back in such dominant fashion? You knew they’d fight but probably get close only to fall away. No under the watch of Wayne Bennett.
The commentators were all in agreement that Bennett is the best half-time coach in the game. No mentor can change momentum quite like the master coach. He did it last Wednesday, he’s done it countless times at club level and there’s no reason he won’t yet again tomorrow.
He has this QLD side believing that they’re the best team on the park. With all due respect to Kevin Walters, QLD lose Origin One without Bennett pulling the strings.
Why They Won’t
– Blue Wave: SURELY NSW can’t play as badly again as they did in the second half of last week’s game. Perhaps, despite 100% effort from the Maroons, the Blues might just have too much.
I can’t remember the last time Jack Wighton had two poor games in a row. He was terrible last Wednesday and allowed an unexpected route to the try line that might not be there again tomorrow. The Blues will have everything focused on Gagai, who was QLD’s best for mine.
The big NSW crowd will have the Blues firing from the kick off. I very much doubt we’ll see the Blues caught off-guard and surrender possession from the kick off in Game Two. The Blues have also picked a much better bench, and hopefully won’t have the injury issues that cost them an attacking weapon.
The Maroons still don’t possess the class of their southern counterparts. If both teams play to their fullest potential, maybe they just don’t match the Blues.
– Two Huge Losses: Welch and Brimson are two HUGE outs. Brimson was arguably the form player of the competition in the last month of the regular season while Welch is quietly becoming one of the best big game players. He was 8/10 in the Grand Final and arguably as good for QLD in Game One.
Valentine Holmes is a match – and even series – winner at this level but has missed a lot of football. Truthfully he hasn’t looked his usual, dangerous, fleet of foot best since returning from his American adventure. He’s far from a bad option but Brimson was always going to hold onto his jumper.
Let us know below, do you think QLD wrap up the Series with a game to play, or are we headed for a decider next Wednesday night?