We were in this position last year.
New South Wales had won game one of the 2013 State Of Origin series in emphatic fashion and heading into game two of the series Blues supporters were full of confidence.
In game two Queensland destroyed New South Wales. The 26-6 scoreline doesn’t begin to explain how the Maroons dominated that game. They broke New South Wales in that second match. New South Wales were done and dusted as they headed into game three, losing the series on home soil.
Now, back on home soil since that loss, New South Wales have their best chance in years to wrap up their first State Of origin victory since 2005.
In my opinion the team that wins tonight’s game will win the series. Obviously New South Wales can wrap it up with a victory tonight, but if Queensland wins I think they will also take out game three and win their 9th series in a row.
In the first game of the 2014 series Queensland got off to a great start. New South Wales can’t allow that to happen again. An injury to Cooper Cronk saw Queensland in damage control for a good 40 minutes of the first match. Once they hit their stride again though they went on a rampage. It took desperate defense by the Blues to hold them out.
Queensland won’t go to sleep for 40 minutes in tonight’s match.
Queensland really need to step up in the forwards in this match. They were beaten up front by New South Wales in the first game. Their backs almost pulled out the win but it was too little, too late at that point. The Maroons forward can not wait until so late in the contest to step up again.
For New South Wales to win again their halves need to play better. While Reynolds and Hodkinson played well in their debuts they need to step it up now and take over the second game. Jarryd Hayne will do a lot of ball playing but it can’t all be left up to him in this match.
It will be interesting to see how Josh Dugan plays when he takes on Greg Inglis in the centres. I wouldn’t be surprised if he ended up playing on the wing though. Inglis is due for a big game. Not too many people have spoken about Inglis in the lead up to this second match. He was beautifully shut down in the first game by Morris. If Queensland are to win Greg Inglis needs to have a big game.
Johnathan Thurston’s defense in the first game was pretty average. I also felt as though in the first half in particular that he didn’t take over running the side as well as he should have when Cronk left the field. This is his chance to make up for all of that. He will be the most dangerous player on the field in the last 10 minutes of the match. New South Wales need to watch out for him as he weaves his magic once again.
No matter who wins tonight’s contest, we will be in for an epic game. This result means so much to both teams. There is so much history on the line tonight.
If New South Wales wins it will end one of the great sporting runs we have ever seen in Rugby League. It will probably also see a changing of the guard for a Queensland side that isn’t getting any younger.
If Queensland wins it will be devastating for New South Wales. I don’t think the Blues would get over losing the second game on home soil. I think a win tonight would all but assure the Maroons win a 9th straight series.
It will be a fantastic match no matter who wins. I hope you all enjoy it.
Go New South Wales!!!!