State of Origin – Game 1 Preview & Bets
- Contentious selections
- Greasy surface
- QLD with plenty of ‘in form’ players
- All the pressure on the Blues at home
This shapes as one of the most intriguing Origin battles in recent history. The build up may not be what it used to be, and it’s highly unlikely we see a Gallen V Myles (or all in brawl!), but the selections from both sides add to the suspense. Coach Freddy has copped a bit of a hammering in the press for some of his selections but I actually quite like them. He looks to have a game plan in mind to move the QLD pack around and play fast through the middle, allowing the likes of Cleary, Teddy and Staggs space and time to weave their magic. Can they execute on a greasy surface?
QLD have picked their best team in many years in my opinion, full of ‘in form’ players with strike power all across the park. The key for QLD will be getting their combinations to stick, to be fluent in attack and defend as one. NSW look to have an edge there with the Panthers players and such an elite spine of Cook, Cleary, Luai & Teddy. QLD have the luxury of playing Grant off the bench, potentially an Australian hooker, and his impact in the latter stages of the game might very well determine the result. It’s rare you say this in big clashes but the way each coach uses their bench and rotations might actually determine the winner. Who have you got?
NSW (-3.5) @$2: At home in front of the Blatchy Blues and a raucous home crowd they can cover the line. Their backline is full of strike power and they can score too many points for the Maroons to run down.
Daniel Tupou First Tryscorer @$9: Nathan Cleary is a masterful tactician with his kicking game and often we see a set/trick play off his boot (think back to his kick from dummy half against the Storm last year). Big Daniel Tupou is a genuine flyer and with Cleary looking to bomb his way he’ll get his chance to leap over them to score.
Valentine Holmes Anytime Tryscorer @ $4: If his likely opposing centre, Staggs, has one flaw in his game it is his initial contact in tackles. Since returning from America Val has embraced collision and can often break the first tackle. Origin is all about making your one on one tackles and Val, with the help of Munster, might be able to skip outside Staggs and find the line.
2 cracks at the Man of the Match – Cameron Munster @$9 & Isaah Yeo @$11: If QLD are to pull off an upset it will be led by the Mad Dog himself (Munster), he will have to have a blinder for QLD to win. Isaah Yeo’s connection with Cleary will be crucial to NSW winning and I expect him to get plenty of touches in attack, he’ll also make a stack of tackles. If he has a hand in a try or two (or crashes over himself) he’ll be right in the mix.
Don’t forget Ladbrokes are running the below promos and both look worthy of a pineapple:
*All prices and lines are correct as of the time of writing & are courtesy of Ladbrokes, who are offering a $2 line for State of Origin Game 1. T&C’s apply, check their website for more details.
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