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NSW Blues vs Queensland Maroons Game 2

NSW Blues vs Queensland Maroons Game 2

We are back for State of Origin Game 2, Roarers!

After a sensational series opener in Sydney that went down to the wire, Queensland caused an upset to take the first game 16-10. Which lovely Roar Expert tipped them to win by six? I must check my notes.

The Maroons were just too strong and did pretty much everything right. Billy Slater’s Origin coaching career got off to the perfect start, and who would have guessed the best Penrith player on the field that night was going to be Liam Martin?

For the second time ever, we are headed across to Perth for game two. The last time Origin was played there was, funnily enough, game two of the 2019 series. The Blues bounced from a game one loss to win 38-6 and tie the series. Could history repeat itself? 

As we have seen this week, Freddy Fittler reacted calmly and rationally after losing the opener……..and made about 1000 changes. Junior Paulo heads to the interchange bench to make way for Jurbo in the front row, Mat Burton has been rushed into the centres, Api Korisau has been named as hooker with Damien Cook being pushed back to the bench to sit alongside Siosifa Talakai, and Angus Crichton. More surprises for the reserves list, with Victor Radley, Clint Gutherson and Jordan McLean all named.

Angus’s brother Stephen comes off the interchange bench into the centers for Jack Wighton who has Covid, with Ryan Matterson, Kotoni Staggs, Reagan Campbell-Gillard and Tariq Sims all receiving a ‘thanks but no thanks’ text. 

The biggest shock for everyone – Foxx being left out in the cold once again.

NSW Blues vs Queensland Maroons Game 2

Josh Addo-Carr (Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

The biggest shock for me – Still. No. Reece. Robson. 

Looking at the Maroons, Slater has made three changes to his victorious side, but they all are due to injury. One of his best from game one Reuben Cotter, has been ruled out after injuring his hamstring, so a shuffling of the troops sees Lindsay Collins coming into the front row with Big Tino moving across to lock. Jai Arrow comes from the reserves list onto the interchange bench with Beau Fermor getting selected as a reserve.

With Xavier Coates hurting himself in game one, Murray Taulagi moves from the reserves list to make his debut on the wing, and Corey Oates has been named in the extended squad. Reece Walsh joins Coates on the extended bench after The Hammer failed his HIA over the weekend.

Game one was so fast – the speed was unbelievable. I’m expecting more of the same on Sunday. NSW will be hoping their personnel changes will help win the battle around the ruck this time, as well as give Nathan Cleary more space and time to kick. Queensland will be out to repeat everything they did in the opener to try and lock this series up. 

Remember to get your tips into the form below by 12pm (AEST) on Sunday to be featured as part of the Crowd’s tips for Game 2.

Seeing as the Maroons have taken a 1-0 lead on the series, it seems only right that our one and only Expert who has actually represented them gets to kick off the predictions. 

Michael Hagan

Tip: NSW by 8

Koroisau could be the key to a much better Blues performance in game two. He’s a clever player in attack but he also anchors Penrith’s ruck defence. 

He will know when and where Nathan Cleary, Jarome Luai and Isaah Yeo like to get the ball and they will have more time to play with.

First try scorer: Matt Burton

Man of the Match: Nathan Cleary

Nathan Cleary Origin

(Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

Mary Konstantopoulos

Tip: NSW by 8

Brad Fittler has surprised me, making so many team changes following State of Origin Game I.  But despite all the questioning about whether these team changes mean that him and the Blues were rattled after Game I and whether these changes were necessary, I am tipping the Blues by eight points for Game II so we can take it to a decider next month.

My view was and still is that the Blues have the stronger team on paper.  The Blues did not play well in Game I and I do not think we will see a repeat performance in Game II.  I’m also looking forward to seeing Matt Burton in a sky-blue jersey.  I am also curious to see how Freddie uses his bench this time, after his rotations came under heavy criticism in Game I. 

Cameron Munster was the X Factor in Game I and I think he will be first try scorer. At the moment, Munster is the best player in the game and truth be told, I think was the difference between Blues victory and defeat in Game I.

Nathan Cleary rarely has two poor games in a row, so I am predicting he will be man of the match.

First try scorer: Cameron Munster

Man of the Match: Nathan Cleary

AJ Mithen  

Tip: Queensland by 1

New South Wales once shook up their team and tore Queensland a new one in Perth, but this time it’s not going to work quite as well. Billy Slater has well and truly infused that State of Origin energy into his team which calls for performances well above and beyond the usual. They’ll miss Rueben Cotter and it’ll be interesting to see how Fittler plans for Carrigan, who blew his team away when he came on. New South Wales will come hard, but I’ve got the Maroons plucking the win by the barest of margins.

First try scorer: Kurt Capewell

Man of the Match: Valentine Holmes

Valentine Holmes of the Maroons runs the ball

Valentine Holmes. (Photo by Ian Hitchcock/Getty Images)

Paul Suttor

Tip: NSW by 2

They have more mobility in the pack this time around and that should allow Tedesco in particular to become more of a presence.

First try scorer: Jarome Luai

Man of the Match: Payne Haas

Mike Meehall Wood

Tip: Queensland by 2

NSW haven’t learned their lessons of Game 1 and have dropped players (RCG) that they should have kept and called up players (Jurbo) that I have no idea what they are going to do with.

Winning margin – It’s hard to say: though I think NSW are generally a better team, I didn’t see enough of that in G1 and then they’ve picked a stupid team for G2. QLD by 2, I suppose.

If QLD are going to win, it’s likely to be a combination of their halves that do it. He wasn’t at his best in G1 but Daly Cherry-Evans is rarely bad for long, and as Manly fan, I’m going for him.

Origin is generally tight and I see no reason why this won’t continue here. It’ll be a winger, and if QLD are going to win, let’s go for Murray Taulagi on debut.

NSW could and perhaps should have won G1, because they were the better team for a lot of it, especially in the first half, but failed to maintain intensity when QLD stepped it up. The reaction from Fittler in removing two of their better guys, RCG and Ryan Matterson, and replacing them with Jake Trbojevic – essentially a third ball-playing lock – and Angus Crichton makes no sense to me. Jurbo can’t run or break tackles (I’ve called him a specialist tackler in the past) and if he’s not there to pass, which he won’t be given that Cam Murray and Isaah Yeo are both playing, then I don’t know why he’s there at all. I could also write an opus on Damien Cook’s half-pregnant shimmy run then pass and how I hate it, but will leave that for now. Getting Koroisau in is the rare, good choice from Freddy.

QLD were good last time and will be better this time because Taulagi is an improvement on Coates and Arrow isn’t a huge drop off on Cotter. That’s all I have on them, they’ll win.

First try scorer: Murray Taulagi

Man of the Match: Daly Cherry-Evans

Kurt Gidley

Tip: NSW by 4

First try scorer: James Tedesco

Man of the Match: James Tedesco

Danielle Smith

Tip: Queensland by 4

So many changes for the Blues, but some great names in the list. After Gus Gould’s query about the side being too ‘Pantherised’, Freddy has fought fire with fire and added more!

I just can’t go past Qld. They will miss Cotter, but they still have a tonne of go forward. Maroons to win but by not as much as last time.

First try scorer: Murray Taulagi

Man of the Match: Valentine Holmes

Isaah Yeo of the Blues is tackled during game one of the 2022 State of Origin series between the New South Wales Blues and the Queensland Maroons at Accor Stadium on June 08, 2022, in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

Isaah Yeo of the Blues is tackled (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

Origin 2 AJ Danielle Mary Mike Paul Michael H Kurt Crowd
Margin 1 4 8 2 2 8 4 ?
First try Capewell Taulagi Munster Taulagi Luai Burton Tedesco ?
MOTM Holmes Holmes Cleary Cherry-Evans Haas Cleary Tedesco ?