State of Origin II is basically a decider. The great Queensland dynasty is hanging by a thread. This is the last year we will see their great spine together and there’s big question marks about what the short-medium term future looks like for QLD. While for NSW, this is a must win. Losing this match means travelling back to Suncorp stadium for a decider which would be Johnathan Thurston’s last ever game for Queensland (and possibly Slater, Cronk?). Honestly, the QLD supporters would be rabid.
It is well known that the NSW forward pack dominated QLD in game one. And with QLD’s answer being to blood 3 young unexperienced forwards, the NSW forward pack will likely dominate again. Yes, Coen Hess is a weapon but he alone won’t turn things around. If Queensland manage to turn their fortunes it will be through the Slater/Cronk/Smith/JT show. One day out from the match and it’s raining in Sydney. This match is bound to be a much colder, dewier, wetter affair than Game I in Queensland. And accordingly, the match will be won and lost through match control and kicking game.
Game I matches are ordinarily very low scoring, though with QLD trying to re-assert their forward pack dominance and playing on a slippery surface I believe this match may be the lower scoring match. The match total stands at 31.5-32 and is drifting lower. Under 32 points and under 5.5 tries both look like good plays. Either team under 6.5 is also looking likely.
Sportsbet and Luxbet are both offering money back if your 1st try scorer pick scores at any time*. With lots of short balls in play I’ll be looking at the rampaging backrowers running the edges, Cordner, Frizell and Gillett.
*State exclusions apply.