Let me first start by saying that in a lot of ways I agree with what Trent Robinson said in his press conference after Sunday's game against the Bulldogs.
I’m not going to sit here and bag Freddy. I love the way he goes about things, the way he coaches and it is my opinion that he is the perfect person to create the right culture for the Blues.
However, as a humble spectator of our great game I do have some concerns over the team that he named on Sunday for Game II in Perth.
So let’s kick this off;
Latrell Mitchell. We all know how great a player is and he showed that on Sunday when he terrorised the Bulldogs all afternoon. He knows that he hasn’t played his best for a little while now and he is now starting to play himself back into form.
There is no question that he is far too good to be left out of the side. With that said, my next concern is who replaces him at centre, Jack Wighton.
Wighton was great off the bench with the exception of one, albeit very costly, mistake. The thing is though that he hasn’t played in the centres how long now? He has spent most of his first grade career playing out the back and now finds himself playing at six for his club.
For me, he has to play off the bench at 14.
Moving to the opposite side of the field now, Turbo Tom and Fergo.
Tom Trbojevic had to be an automatic inclusion if fit. There’s no question about it, especially after what he did to the Dragons this past weekend.
That said, (and I know that Josh Morris was never meant to be a long term solution) I would have played him on the wing outside Morris and left Blake Ferguson out of the team entirely.
Fergo is one of those players that people love to watch. His carries out of his own end are huge and he’s one of the games best finishers, BUT, he’s been inconsistent this year in a very inconsistent team and I don’t believe he has done enough to warrant an Origin recall.
As for the other additions to the team, Jimmy Maloney is the man for the job. He’s started to play himself back into form these past few weeks and ran rings around Cody Walker on Saturday evening.
Walker's axing from the Origin team is perfect for me. He’s a great instinctual player but I don’t believe his game translates onto the big stage.
Daniel Saifiti is a mistake. This isn’t the first time you would have read this comment, I’m sure.
He is untested outside of club football and this game is too important to be replacing a seasoned campaigner in David Klemmer with a rookie.
For me, Jake Trbojevic moves into the front row rotation and Cam Murray starts at lock.
We played our best football in Game I when they were on the field.
Coming off the bench I have already made note of Wighton playing at 14 and I’m honestly really happy with most of the bench options.
I just don’t believe that Wade Graham is ready. Nobody can question his skills as a footballer, I just question whether his body and his match fitness are both good enough to play at Origin level just yet.
I have no doubt that he would have made his return to rep level, I’m just left questioning whether now is the right time for him.
Dale Finucane and Tariq Sims are both perfect and honestly I would be inclined to use them in the prop rotation as well. They’re both big bodies and they work really hard.
Nobody, and I repeat, nobody deserves an Origin call up more than Dale Finucane.
Leaving Graham out of the 17 means that I have a spot open on my bench and the other player that has well and truly earned his run in the sky blue is Ryan Matterson, who coincidentally brings a lot of the same skills as we will be getting from Wade, the biggest difference being is that he IS in form and he IS match ready.
Like I said, I’m just a humble spectator and I will support my team 100% when they run out in Perth on Sunday night. I’m just sceptical that there have been some choices made that are going to be the ones that cost us in the end.
Fingers crossed, I’m wrong.
My NSW Blues team for the Game II Perth.
1. James Tedesco
2. Josh Addo-Carr
3. Latrell Mitchell
4. Josh Morris
5. Tom Trbojevic
6. James Maloney
7. Nathan Cleary
8. Jake Trbojevic
9. Damien Cook
10. Paul Vaughn
11. Boyd Cordner (c)
12. Tyson Frizzell
13. Cameron Murray
14. Jack Wighton
15. Tariq Sims
16. Dale Finucane
17. Ryan Matterson
No comment about the No 7? To me, that’s where the trouble starts.
What is it with no one wanting to pick actual props to play.
Jake is a lock and not a huge body, sims certainly isn’t a prop Finucane maybe with his build but people say about picking turbo and co out of position, it goes the same with the forwards.
Whilst not the greatest options, but paulo, tamou, are both big body props and both in form, and tamou would atleast bring experience
Really? Walker was the problem in game one.
Explain how you think walker was the problem in game 1? Both halves were average at best but walker didn’t deserve to benched while nsw were leading. Then While he was off Cleary did absolutely nothing, then as soon as he comes back on he sets up a try.
1: J Tedesco
2: J Add Carr
3: L Mitchell
4: B Ferguson
5: T Trboviec
6: J Maloney
7: N Cleary
8: R Campbell Gillard
9: D Cook
10: P Vaughn
11: B Cordner
12: T Frizzel
13: J Trboveic
14: J Tamou
15: Jr Paulo
16: C Murray
17: T Sims
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