Queensland question NSW decisions

He was always going to come under scrutiny, but you would think that such scrutiny would not come from the opposing camp – well, now it has.

QLD coach Mal Meninga, says that with the inexperienced two prop-pronged attack, the Blues may have handed QLD their sixth successive series on a silver platter.

With the decision to move lock Paul Gallen into the second-row, and only having one prop on the bench, in Tim Merrin, with Tim Mannah the other starting prop, it is a move that has Meninga completely stumped.

Meninga is not the only one questioning the decisions made by NSW, but QLD hooker, Cameron Smith, also believes that to dump two props like they did, may have been the wrong decision.

“That was the strangest call for me, taking the two starting props out of their team,” Smith said as the Maroons gathered on the Sunshine Coast to begin preparations for Origin II.

“Taking two specialist props out of your team is always a bit of a gamble.

“I think they (King and Snowden) were pretty unlucky under the circumstances from game one.

“We had the majority of the ball in that first half and they were doing a lot of defending.

“I would take my two blokes (Scott and Civoniceva) any day of the week before a couple of mobile guys.”

Despite expressing surprise at Stuart’s decision to only play 3 props, he is wary of the assets the Blues side does possess.

“In Origin and any game, you need people playing in (specialist) positions, that’s my belief,” Meninga said.

When asked if Meninga would do the same, and pick only two props, he said:

“Only if we were devoid of front-rowers. We haven’t had to make that decision, we have the best front-rowers in the game playing for us,” he said. “Matty Scott, Petero, Benny Hannant, David Shillington, big Dave (Taylor) and Jacob Lillyman … we’re in a very envious position.

“They have picked a very mobile side, very well-skilled.

“They are a bit short on front-rowers but will try and play an up-tempo game.”

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