Queensland’s winning run at State Of Origin level burns away at me every single day.
When I watch games I rate the form of possible Origin players, as well as the Queenslanders. I think that New South Wales are in a much better position than they were say two years ago.
Now we know who is up to playing State Of Origin, and who isn’t. We don’t need to take gambles on untested players, but at the same time, we have to go out and win this series. We can’t go in with the mind set that we will defend the game away and with by a scoreline of 6-4.
It is still a fair way off, but I think it is about the right time to start thinking about who will make the New South Wales side.
So, here is who I would have in my side looking at what I’ve seen so far over the course of the 2012 season:
League Freaks New South Wales Team After Five Rounds
1. Anthony Minichello
2. Brett Morris
3. Michael Jennings
4. Josh Morris
5. Jamal Idris
6. Terry Campese
7. James Maloney
8. Trent Merrin
9. Michael Ennis
10. Paul Gallen
11. Anthony Watmough
12. Glenn Stewart
13. Luke Lewis
14. Tony Williams
15. Michael Weyman
16. Beau Scott
17. Tom Learoyd-Lahrs
Morris is playing well for the Dragons but I want a specialist defensive fullback at Origin level. Josh Dugan is unreliable and Brett Stewart injured. Right now I’m thinking, if you pick Minichello at fullback for New South Wales, you don’t have to worry about that position again. He gets the job done, he is still playing at a very high level, he is super reliable, experienced, what more could you really want from a fullback?
Just hear me out…
Playing him on the wing will mean he isn’t as vulnerable in defense. He is good under the high ball and a nightmare with the ball in his hands out wide. A massive plus though would be the go forward he can provide as a winger coming in and taking a few hit ups. He is bigger than most other forwards in the game.
I look at Idris as a player that Queensland just wouldn’t want to have to deal with.
Michael Jennings should be the first center selected. In a Panthers team that is still getting its act together, he is easily the most dangerous player on the field in every game he plays. He gets the ball in a lot of poor situations at the Panthers and yet this season he is still managing to be a damaging player.
I’ve gone with Josh Morris over Chris Lawrence simply based on form. I think Lawrence has been below par this season.
James Maloney is an automatic selection for me. I just don’t rate Pearce in games that hold any significance.
At five-eight its a tough choice. Todd Carney is in form but the last thing he needs is the State Of Origin spotlight. Soward is playing a lot better than most are giving his credit for as the one decent playmaker in the Dragons lineup, but I had to go with Terry Campese for his size and ability to completely take over a game.
The Forward Pack
I think the forward pack pretty much selects itself. The NSW pack has now got a lot of experience and we know what we will be getting out of them.
Michael Ennis for me is easily the first choice hooker ahead of Robbie Farah. Buderus isn’t even on the radar.
I’m looking for impact off the bench. I like the idea of bring in some big forwards off the bench to try and break the Queensland line. Tony Williams will not have played a game before Origin one, but I’d still be willing to go with him. Weyman is in good form, you could start with him and maybe move Stewart to the bench. Scott gives you a bit of versatility in the back line if injuries strike and Tom Learoyd-Lahrs brings size.
We Need To Win This Series
We need to start selecting players that will cause problems for Queensland when they are defending.
For some reason New South Wales has spent year selecting the most defensive lineup we possibly could. Meanwhile, Queensland just went out and selected the best players they could find, and knew that when it come to defense, players will step up when the moment requires it.
I think with the lineup I’m looking at so far, it is experiences and it is dangerous enough is attack to at least cause a few problems for the Queensland side.
At the very least, it’s a good starting point….