It’s going to be one of the hardest State of Origin Series’ in many years for the NSW Blues. Usually the favourites and spoilt for talent across the park, it’s now the QLD Maroons who boast a sublime backline and virtually an Australian Representative team. In the past, QLD have kept themselves competitive by displaying unbelievable passion, commitment and a physical presence that saw them not only stay in the contests, but come out victorious on many occasions.
This is something NSW has to try and capture. As it stands, the talent mismatch could see them beaten by a hefty margin. So who is shaping up to make the NSW side this year?
After spending a year searching for our next Andrew Johns, the NSW halfback debate still remains as clear as Cobar tap water. Country boy Brett Finch was solid – kicking for two tries and setting up a third – to shade younger rival Mitchell Pearce and strengthen his resume.
Grubbers Comment: Odds that Matt ‘Big Game’ Orford will make the NSW Origin side? 25/1
If you reckon the Olympic flame cops abuse, try being Braith Anasta. Voted most overrated four times by his peers, this Bondi playmaker has finally shrugged off the horror tag in emphatic fashion. Anasta is in the best form of his career. Should be the Blues No.6, end of story.
Grubbers Comment: Chances of Braith Anasta being on the receiving end of a David Fa’logo style punch in the Origin Series? 5/1
Jarryd Hayne is back, baby. Hayne leapt into the stratosphere for a try, hit opposite Anthony Quinn like he was riding a John Deere tractor and constantly darted like a man who was still dodging lead.
Grubbers Comment: Chances of Jarryd Hayne being offered a sponsorship deal by Smith and Wesson? Strong to Certain
Anthony Laffranchi will be there somewhere, while fellow Country enforcers Ben Cross and Brett White were also strong.
And the experienced Mark O’Meley also busted his backside for City despite being born in West Wyalong.
Grubbers Comment: Mark O’Meley simply needs to be in this side. His hard head and strong fists are what’s needed for an undermanned NSW side.
One of those who miss out above will get a start here. And if Gidley wears the seven, a utility like Finch or an uninjured Robbie Farah will be required. But if you want real smokie, what about Brett Kearney?
Grubbers Comment: Likelihood of Brett Kearney finally wearing headgear if he makes NSW Origin, or risk having fractured skull no.3 ? Slim to None.