- Blues: Brett Stewart, Jarryd Hayne, Joel Monaghan, Matt Cooper, Anthony Quinn, Braith Anasta, Mitchell Pearce, Willie Mason, Danny Buderus (capt), Brett White, Craig Fitzgibbon, Ryan Hoffman, Paul Gallen. Interchange: Kurt Gidley, Anthony Laffranchi, Ben Cross, Anthony Tupou.
I understand that the changes in the halves were enforced. I have no arguments with the halves combination chosen. I like Carney a little more than Pearce at this stage, but I am glad the selectors did not revert to an Orford, Kimmorley or Finch.
Nothing has been done to address the massive weakness that the Blues had in game II - that is the engine room. Here is a list of guys that I would have considered to start the game in the 8/10 shirts for the Blues in game three:
Josh Perry (Has been shockingly good this year)
Maybe just working one of these three into the side. Preferably TWO. Actual, real PROPS.
Beyond that, Gidley must have played himself out of an origin spot in game II. I have never understood the utility that he brings. Below average cover at 1,6,7,9???? Want some spark out of Dummy half??? Pick Ennis. The damage that Ennis could do against a tiring forward pack would be far superior to Gidley's alleged utility.
The selectors have used the injuries to Wallace and Bird to avoid making real significant changes to address the area that went wrong in game two.