The weekend of Rugby League action concludes with a huge Origin clash at ANZ Stadium. On a rare Sunday night of Origin action, both team’s will be desperate for victory. After a 22-12 win at the MCG in game 1, the NSW Blues will aim for the series win on their home turf against the Maroons. See our NRL State of Origin Game 2 Preview and Betting Tips below.
In game 1, the Blues new lineup paid off instantly. James Tedesco was easily the best player on the park as he tore shreds through the Maroons defence. Then with the likes of Damien Cook around the ruck, the QLD forward’s couldn’t contain the speed of the NSW backs. So that will be the key to watch in game 2. Origin games at ANZ Stadium are usually won through the middle of the field and QLD will need to show major improvements if they want to upset the Blues. Although, QLD should be buoyed by the return of Slater and Ponga to provide a spark off the bench. But the bookies don’t believe so as the home side is paying just $1.40 currently.
In place of the injured Reagan Campbell Gillard (broken jaw), the squad will welcome in veteran Matt Prior. The 31 year old will become the 7th oldest to make his Origin debut this Sunday. It’s the only forced change for the NSW Blues are a successful game 1. Which is a rare feat for the Blues as they’re usually making multiple changes from game to game. Forward Ryan James was unlucky to miss out after his strong form at the Titans.
For the Maroons, it looks likely Billy Slater will lineup in game 2. He missed the first game and has been struggling with a hamstring injury of late. He didn’t play last weekend so I believe he’ll lineup with the series on the line. With Morgan out for the season, Ponga will get his chance off the bench. He’s been one of the best players in the NRL this season and it’s hard to figure he’s just 20 years old. Dropping out of the squad will be Milford who didn’t show much in game 1.
So can QLD rebound and stop the Blues from capturing the series in Sydney? I would say it’s pretty tough to see that happening after the Blues dominance in game 1. They have the speed of the ruck covered and the QLD forwards tiredness at the end of each half is a real concern when they have to defend the likes of Tedesco, Addo-Carr and more. They’ll also need a find a different tactic in the kicking game as they definitely targeted Tommy Turbo with the high ball. However, he proved too strong and also scored a try of his own from a Maloney kick.
Speaking of the halves, the combination of Cleary and Maloney worked it’s magic. Maloney struggled with a few errors early on but played a hand in all of the Blues’ tries. While for the Maroons, Ben Hunt didn’t look 100% fit in game 1 and Munster couldn’t get into the game. I do expect them to have a bit more success as the QLD forwards look to step up from a disappointing loss in Melbourne.
So for the best bet, I went the unders in game 1 and it saluted (just). But I’m even more confident in game 2. Origin games at ANZ Stadium have been historically low scoring. For example, in the last 7 Origin games at the venue, the total points is averaging just 21 points and has not gone over 35.5 total points since 2010. The under is also trending at ANZ this season with a 13-6 record. Go the Unders!
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