Wednesday, June 11, 2008

State of Origin II: Preview Thread

With State of Origin II kicking off tonight, lets have a quick look at how tonights contest shapes up:

1. B. Slater
2. D. Boyd
3. G. Inglis
4. B. Tate
5. I. Folau
7. S. Prince
6. J. Thurston
8. S. Price
9. C. Smith
10. P. Civoniceva
11. M. Crocker
12. S. Thaiday
13. D. Johnson

14. B. Hannant
15. K. Hunt
16. N. Myles
17. A. Harrison

1. B. Stewart
2. S. Turner
3. M. Gasnier
4. M. Cooper
5. A. Quinn
6. G. Bird
7. P. Wallace
8. B. White
9. D. Buderus
10. C. Fitzgibbon
11. W. Mason
12. R. Hoffman
13. P. Gallen

14. A. Laffranchi
15. A. Tupou
16. K. Gidley
17. S. Simpson

NSW won the first game fairly convincingly. However game II looks like a more difficult proposition, based on the team changes made by both teams and on the move to the Fortress formerly known as Lang Park. QLD have brought in Prince for Karmichael Hunt Darren Lockyer PJ Marsh. This is a massive impact on the team, having a superior playmaker partnered with Thurston. The utility of picking Hunt on the bench must be questioned, as his selection in game one was questioned. Surely Marsh, or a specialist interchange player at origin level such as Bowen would give NSW more concerns. More bad news for NSW is the return of Steve Price. Carl Webb, an inexplicable selection in the Australian team but weeks ago makes way.

The great news selection for the Blues is the suspension of Justin Hodges. This shifts Tate in to the centres (hurrah!) and drafts in Darius Boyd. Whilst I will never complain about a Tate selection from the standpoint of a biased NSW fan, it must be wondered what he holds over the QLD selectors (See the poll on the top right of the page!) Lillyman out, Harrison in. 8 minutes of unspectacular football replaced by 8 minutes of unspectacular football. I always wonder about the 17th man selection by Queensland... is there some sort of pride factor in picking a side with only 16 players in it???

For NSW, Hayne, Cross and Hornby make way for Turner, Simpson and Gidley. The Turner and Gidley changes should provide little change from game 1. The Simpson change is a headscratcher. Are there no other props in NSW??? The Captain I know would have gone with Todd Payten. I could have lived with that. The *best* thing that comes out of the Simpson selection is that it gives a new guy to fill the role of Laffranchi in game II. Laffranchi in game one was spectacular when he was on the field, but saw far too few minutes. Hopefully that role (lack of minutes) falls to Simpson in game II. In fact, Laffranchi wins the "Wes Mantooth Award" for his game I performance.

* Note the Wes Mantooth Award is given to Sportsmen who dazzled us with their play. But deserved far bigger roles. Seriously, Anchorman is my favourite movie but how much better would it have been with MORE MANTOOTH! It runs for something like 90 minutes. Make it 92 minutes and lets see Wes present the news or something. At least in a deleted scene. Also, why can't they make Anchorman 2 and save Will Farrell from himself.

I think NSW are a good chance here. The backline of Queensland just looks 209% worse when Tate is in the centres. And the Queensland bench is bereft of impact. If NSW can stay close for the first hour, I think it could come down to the benches. And there NSW is a clear winner. If you are betting, take QLD by 13+ and NSW by 0-12. Either NSW get blown away early or win a close one. I will just take the second option as I don't have the heart to back QLD.

Anyway, that's all I've got on Origin 2. I will be cranking up some Roy and HG, getting some sweet seafood and beering on.

No laughing stock post today, eh JB??? You saw how that went last time.


Captain Carnage said...

Actually I would have gone with Luke Bailey. How is it that everyone seems to have forgotten how good was playing until he got injured. I know he's only been back a couple of weeks but he a half-fit Bailey shits all over "Mr. Invisible" Steve Simpson. I am also surprised they went for Turner. Monaghan is about a foot taller and has magic hands. Is Turner marking Folau? Surely not...?

Captain Carnage said...

A pest management ad from Adsense on Origin day?! You can't wipe out this bunch of Cockroaches!

Professor Chaos said...

Pest management?? Oh yeah, this site is all about pest management. Hope you don't mind me taking over the polling duties today. Had a lot of TAIIIITTTE Theories to test.

Haven't been posting much this week, busily writing the screenplay to Anchorman 2: Mantooths Revenge.

Professor Chaos said...

There's my Courier Mail standard research. I assumed that if Bailey didn't get picked me must've been injured. Bailey the ridiculously obvious choice.

I have no issue with Turner. Think he will go very well.

JB said...

At this point all queensland supporters can do is have faith in the selectors, sure an hour ago I didn't, but the team is picked and the only thing that will prove them right or wrong is the 80 mins on the park tonight.

Sure I would have had Hunt as full back with Slater on the wings. Yes Tate is crap and doesn't deserve an origin spot. Yes, there are plenty of other Qld players that can play in the centres including: Matt Rogers, Willie Tonga, Steve Bell, Michael Witt, Shannon Hegarty, Tonie Carroll and Daniel Wagon (although tonga and witt are injured, rogers is only recently back and wagon/carroll are more comfortable in second row/lock).

Yes there is better depth in the forward pack then the selectors make out including: Daniel Wagon, Michael Luck, Kirk Reynoldson, Antoni Kaufusi, Brad Meyers, Danny Nutley, Ben Ross, Scott Logan, Tonie Carroll and David Stagg

At the same time it is great to see Price back in the line up as too Prince. At the great cauldron that is lang park, it will be a different game then the first. Can't wait!