New South Wales attempt to keep the 2019 State of Origin series alive when they take on Queensland in Perth on Sunday night.
NSW vs QLD kicks off at 7.50pm AEST at Optus Stadium in Perth. The game will be broadcast live on Channel 9 in Australia.
In just the second Origin game played outside of Australia’s east coast since 1987, New South Wales are tasked with a must-win showdown against Queensland in order to keep the series alive and force a deciding Game 3 in Sydney next month.
NSW were in complete control in the opening game at Suncorp, leading 8-0 at half-time, but a sin-bin to Latrell Mitchell in the second half was the turning point, with Queensland clawing their way back into the contest before a Josh Wighton intercept to Dane Gagai handed the Maroons a 18-14 victory.
Mitchell has paid the ultimate price for his ill-discipline and has been dropped for Game 2, but coach Brad Fittler wasn’t done there, making a staggering seven changes from the first encounter.
It seems a bit unnecessary when you consider the Blues lost by four points due to an intercept try, butMitchell, Josh Morris, Cody Walker, Angus Crichton have been dropped, while David Klemmer and Payne Haas are unavailable through injury.
Blake Ferguson, James Maloney, Tariq Sims and Tom Trbojevic have been recalled to the Origin arena while Dale Finucane and Daniel Saifiti have been named to make their Origin debuts.
Surprisingly, Wighton has retained his spot, but will this time line up in the centres, and with Trbojevic also playing at centre, it means both players will be out of position.
Meanwhile, Queensland were forced into two changes due to injury, with Jarrod Wallace and Tim Glasby coming into the side for the injured Jai Arrow and Joe Ofahengaue, while Dylan Napa has been promoted to the starting side despite carrying a wrist problem.
The Maroons showcased their trademark grit and never-say-die attitude in Game 1 and are now on the cusp of their 12th series win in the last 14 years.
It’s tempting to back Queensland because of the seemingly erratic changes Fittler has made to his side, but outside of Suncorp, I think the Maroons will struggle to impose themselves. The addition of Maloney is a good one and he will help settle Nathan Cleary, while Finucane’s inclusion was long overdue. If the Blues can avoid the same brain explosions that come them Game 1, they should be winning this one and forcing a live decider in Game 3.
Queensland – $1.91
New South Wales – $1.91
NEW SOUTH WALES BLUES: 1. James Tedesco 2. Blake Ferguson 3. Tom Trbojevic 4. Jack Wighton 5. Josh Addo-Carr 6. James Maloney 7. Nathan Cleary 8. Daniel Saifiti 9. Damien Cook 10. Paul Vaughan 11. Boyd Cordner (c) 12. Tyson Frizell 13. Jake Trbojevic. Interchange: 14. Dale Finucane 15. Tariq Sims 16. Cameron Murray 17. Wade Graham.
QUEENSLAND MAROONS: 1. Kalyn Ponga 2. Corey Oates 3. Michael Morgan 4. Will Chambers 5. Dane Gagai 6. Cameron Munster 7. Daly Cherry-Evans (c) 8. Dylan Napa 9. Ben Hunt 10. Josh Papalii 11. Felise Kaufusi 12. Matt Gillett 13. Josh McGuire. Interchange: 14. Moses Mbye 15. Jarrod Wallace 16. Tim Glasby 17. David Fifita.