New South Wales begin their bid to win back-to-back State of Origin series for the first time since 2004-05 when they face Queensland at Suncorp Stadium on Wednesday June 5.
Queensland vs New South Wales kicks off at 8.05pm AEST at Suncorp Stadium. The game will be broadcast live on Channel 9 in Australia.
The 2019 State of Origin series kicks off with a bang as Queensland host New South Wales at Suncorp Stadium, with the Maroons attempting to bounce back from last year’s series defeat and the Blues trying to start a dynasty of their own after being the whipping boys for most of the last 15 years.
It’s new faces galore for Queensland as Kevin Walters ushers in a new era of Maroons after the retirements of legends Billy Slater, Greg Inglis, Johnathan Thurston, Cameron Smith and Cooper Cronk.
Queensland’s dominance for over the last decade can be heavily attributed to those aforementioned players, and we saw last year how much they struggled without them – and that was with Smith still playing.
Daly Cherry-Evans was a surprising choice as captain and halfback considering the rumours that he has always been on the outer with much of the Maroons playing group, while Cameron Munster will have to step up and prove he’s a big-game player if Queensland are going to challenge the Blues.
It will also be interesting to see how Ben Hunt plays as a makeshift hooker, along with utility Moses Mbye coming off the bench. David Fifita and Joe Ofahengaue have also earned Origin debuts for Queensland on the bench.
Meanwhile, New South Wales have a lot of pressure to contend with themselves. Brad Fittler has stuck with the out-of-form Nathan Cleary at halfback for Game 1, and now faces a dilemma if they lose as to whether they stick with him for the entire series or drop him.
Despite winning the series last year, there’s a lot of new faces in the side for this clash, including Cody Walker, Nick Cotric, Payne Haas, Jack Wighton and Cameron Murray, while experienced centre Josh Morris has also received a shock recall, most likely because of his defensive capabilities.
Tom Trbojevic, Tyrone Peachey, Tariq Sims, Jack de Belin, James Roberts and James Maloney are all missing from the NSW team of Game 3 last year.
NSW will look to the likes of electric backline stars James Tedesco, Josh Addo-Carr and Latrell Mitchell for points, while Damien Cook will provide the toughness in the middle of the park.
While they are big favourites to go back-to-back, NSW have always had a tough time in ‘live’ Origin games up at Suncorp, only winning twice at the venue dating back to 2005. However, one of those wins came in Game 1 of the 2017 series, and all of their defeats coincided with the unprecedented Queensland dominance during that period. It’s a new era and I think the Blues are set for a tight victory to open the series.
New South Wales – $1.80
Queensland – $2.02
Queensland: Kalyn Ponga, Corey Oates, Michael Morgan, Will Chambers, Dane Gagai, Cameron Munster, Daly Cherry-Evans, Jai Arrow, Ben Hunt, Josh Papalii, Felise Kaufusi, Matt Gillett, Josh Maguire. Interchange: Moses Mbye, Dylan Napa, David Fifita, Joe Ofahengaue, Tim Glasby (18th man).
NSW: James Tedesco, Nick Cotric, Latrell Mitchell, Josh Morris, Josh Addo-Carr, Cody Walker, Nathan Cleary, David Klemmer, Damien Cook, Paul Vaughan, Boyd Cordner, Tyson Frizell, Jake Trbojevic. Interchange: Jack Wighton, Payne Haas, Cameron Murray, Angus Crichton.