Predicted Origin 1 Line Ups for NSW & QLD
The countdown is on for the opening match of the 2019 State of Origin series – and with June 5th getting closer, Oddschecker has predicted lineups for New South Wales and Queensland – let us know what you think of these teams on our Facebook page.
NEW SOUTH WALES
1 – James Tedesco (7 Origin Caps)
The game’s best fullback keeps getting better. Tedesco relishes the big stage and will be a contender for player of the series.
2 – Nick Cotric (0 Origin Caps)
With Tom Trbojevic’s hamstring woes ruling him out, a wing spot has opened. Based on last year where Nick Cotric was around camp and publicly received backing from Blues coach Brad Fittler, the decision would be a no brainer. However Cotric hasn’t had the standout form to make him a selection guarantee.
Blake Ferguson meanwhile has had a mostly successful transfer from the Roosters to the Eels and with his Origin experience might be deemed the “safe” call. But Cotric offers youth, consistency (he’s yet to miss a game in his NRL career) and with Fittler showing last season he’s ready to back the new generation in, Cotric gets the nod.
3 – Latrell Mitchell (3 Origin Caps)
The game’s hottest superstar and Will Chambers still has nightmares from his attempts at stopping Mitchell throughout last year’s Origin series. Good luck Queensland.
4 – Josh Morris (14 Origin Caps)
Last played for NSW in 2016 but the veteran Sharks centre has been one of NRL’s best centres this season. This slot has seen so many contenders fall by the wayside incumbent (James Roberts dropped from NRL, Jack Bird, Joey Leilua and Curtis Scott injured) and Morris’ reliability will be attractive for Fittler.
5 – Josh Addo-Carr (3 Origin Caps)
The Fox took to Origin perfectly in his debut series last year and will love being on the end of Morris’ ability to draw in the opposition winger.
6 – Cody Walker (0 Origin Caps)
The big calls start here. James Maloney is the incumbent five-eighth but pays the price for an inconsistent season start for the disappointing Panthers. Maloney’s two tries, five try assists and 31 missed tackles after round nine pale into Walker’s ten tries, ten try assists and 20 missed tackles. The Souths five-eighth is simply on fire and with his running game reaching new levels under Wayne Bennett, Queensland would be dreading the prospect of containing NRL’s current most dangerous ball runner.
7 – Luke Keary (0 Origin Caps)
Just like Maloney, incumbent halfback Nathan Cleary also plays himself out of a Blues jersey due to form. It might be deemed a harsh call to favour form over loyalty but if you’re picking the strongest NSW line-up, you’re not falling over yourself to select a halves combination from a NRL side equal last and with the second worst attack after nine rounds. Keary has emerged as the Roosters’ dominant playmaker and showed in his Clive Churchill Medal-winning performance in last year’s Grand Final how much he relishes pressure. Souths replaced Keary with Walker – now NSW will see the pair combine.
8 – David Klemmer (12 Origin Caps)
Quickly becoming an experienced pack leader, Klemmer has been Newcastle’s best forward in 2019 and will be the enforcer Fittler builds his big men around.
9 – Damien Cook (3 Origin Caps)
NRL’s most explosive hooker has somehow improved after a breakout 2018 season. He’ll keep Queensland’s markers from ever settling and his club combination with Walker will take pressure off the new halves pairing.
10 – Paul Vaughan (3 Origin Caps)
The Dragons prop chews through defensive work for fun and with his aggression with ball in hand also offers the chance of a bargeover try close to the line.
11 – Boyd Cordner © (12 Origin Caps)
The first name picked, the inspirational Blues’ skipper has had his best NRL season start in years for the Roosters and will lead the way again this Origin campaign.
12 – Tyson Frizell (8 Origin Caps)
Frizell is always a menace on the right edge but also has experience playing through the middle meaning he can either fill in for a prop or shake up the Blues’ attack off Cook’s running if needed.
13 – Jake Trbojevic (6 Origin Caps)
A halfback trapped inside a monstrous lock’s body, the Manly star is a tireless workhorse in defence who is accustomed to playing at first or second receiver with his ability to ball-play and direct attack. Should anything happen to Walker or Keary, look for Trbojevic to slot into the halves.
14 – Victor Radley (0 Origin Caps)
NSW’s greatest coach Phil Gould believes in Origin selection you pick your bench first with each member needing to be capable of playing 80 minutes – after all, what happens if someone gets knocked out from the first play? Radley gets the nod as the NSW utility for a few reasons. The incumbent bench utility Tyrone Peachey has been inconsistent for the struggling Titans, notably having three brain explosions in the final five minutes against Cronulla to deny his side a chance of a crucial win.
Peachey has also been used mostly as a centre at club level this year. NSW will have a centre option on the bench (more on this soon), and while Peachey may have more experience in the halves, Radley’s experience as a middle forward sees him get the nod. We know he’s capable of playing big minutes and with Jake Friend’s biceps injury seeing Radley regularly playing hooker, he offers protection of filling in for Damien Cook instead of finding a makeshift hooker elsewhere which could destabilise NSW’s attack. His defence isn’t perfect with the missed tackles he makes but Radley can still break a game open without the ball and with big game experience under his belt, he makes an ideal utility option for Brad Fittler.
15 – Angus Crichton (3 Origin Caps)
The Roosters backrower slotted in well in the Origin arena last season and with his ability to cover centre if need be, he’s a natural call to have on your bench.
16 – Reagan Campbell-Gillard (1 Origin Cap)
A broken jaw ended RCG’s debut Origin campaign last season but the Panthers prop has been a constant performer in 2019 and will not let Fittler down during the crucial forward rotations.
17 – Cameron Murray (0 Origin Caps)
The toughest call to make in the squad, a toss-up between incumbent rep Tariq Sims and Bunnies lock Murray, but it’s the latter who gets the call. Murray has been a standout for Souths’ pack in 2019, which is a fair effort given how well they’ve performed. Murray’s rapid improvement has seen him become a try-scoring threat in the middle and also is becoming known for his ability to generate quick play-the-balls.
When your hooker is someone who thrives off this, it makes for a unique bench weapon for Fittler. Sims is unlucky and the Dragons firebrand would offer his aggression both through the middle and on the edges but it’s Murray’s combination with Cook which gets him over the line.
1 – Kalyn Ponga (1 Origin Cap)
Queensland’s fullback for the next generation. Made his Origin debut off the bench as a makeshift lock and was arguably best on ground. He’ll be crucial for the Maroons’ hopes of an upset series win.
2 – Corey Oates (5 Origin Caps)
The rampaging Brisbane winger is in hot tryscoring form and will be as important in attacking NSW’s line as he is building strong starts to sets with his kick returns.
3 – Will Chambers (10 Origin Caps)
Infamously outplayed by Latrell Mitchell last series, Chambers knows as a senior player he needs to improve this time around – he has the experience and ability to do so.
4 – Dane Gagai (10 Origin Caps)
A superstar at Origin level, Gagai hasn’t been in the best form for Souths but if history is an indicator, he’ll explode with tries and breaking games open this Origin series.
5 – Edrick Lee (0 Origin Caps)
With the likes of Billy Slater (retirement), Darius Boyd (Origin retirement) and Valentine Holmes (NFL) unavailable, a wing slot has opened up and with Michael Morgan needed elsewhere – meaning Gagai stays in the centres – Lee becomes the natural selection. The Newcastle winger is a natural tryscorer who has come through the Maroons’ developmental pathways and whose form is building nicely for Origin season. A foot injury is a concern but if fit, he gets the nod.
6 – Cameron Munster © (4 Origin Caps)
Munster is Queensland’s key – it makes sense for the five-eighth to takeover as captain. His aggression and game-breaking ability mean he’s a long-term Maroons playmaker and he’ll set the tone for his State on and off the field.
7 – Michael Morgan (9 Origin Caps)
This is based on Daly Cherry-Evans failing to recover from his ankle injury in time (or else Morgan shifts to the centre, Gagai to wing and Lee misses out). Morgan is built for Origin and knows what it’s like to be a controlling playmaker – he’s done it for the Cowboys both with and without Johnathan Thurston. When in top form Morgan can control a game’s flow like few others, a crucial trait for Origin.
8 – Josh Papalii (12 Origin Caps)
Canberra’s enforcer is in career-best form. Capable of playing 80 minutes, Papalii will look to take the game directly to NSW’s pack and after spending most of his Origin career as a bench option now has the chance to make a starting slot his own.
9 – Ben Hunt (4 Origin Caps)
Injuries to Andrew McCullough and Jake Friend – among others - have seen calls for Cameron Smith to come out of representative retirement for a final season with the Maroons. Assuming this does not happen, Ben Hunt becomes the last man standing at nine.
It’s a roll of the dice considering Hunt has started only six NRL matches at hooker but the Dragons half has Origin and big game experience and is a reliable defender through the middle. An upside to Hunt shifting into hooker is his kicking game becomes a great weapon to pin down NSW off quick play-the-balls inside Queensland’s 40 metres.
10 – Jarrod Wallace (5 Origin Caps)
In great form for the Titans, Wallace will be given the task of making an immediate impact through the middle and may well have a point to prove after being benched for Game Three last season.
11 – Matt Gillett (18 Origin Caps)
Gillett has recovered impressively from his broken neck which ruled him out of last year’s series and the Broncos star will always be a tryscoring threat with his angled runs.
12 – Felise Kaufusi (3 Origin Caps)
Kaufusi can be one of the game’s best edge forwards and despite a relatively quiet start to his season the Storm big man is capable of turning things around in an instant for Queensland.
13 – Josh McGuire (11 Origin Caps)
Not missing a beat since his off-season transfer from Brisbane to North Queensland, Moose may be relied upon for an 80 minute game and he has the ability and personality to niggle NSW off their game.
14 – Anthony Milford (2 Origin Caps)
With injuries galore, the Queensland utility bench slot becomes a shootout between Milford and Moses Mbye. And while Mbye might have more experience as a hooker, McGuire’s ability to cover nine if need be means Milford’s previous Origin and big game experience gets the number 14 jersey. Milford is mercurial and yet to consistently hit the heights expected of him – but in a cameo off the bench, all it takes is one NSW defender to make a defensive mistake on him and the Bronco will make them pay.
15 – Dylan Napa (5 Origin Caps)
Injury has impacted Napa’s first season with the Bulldogs but he’s already shown what he’s capable of with the Maroons and he’ll put pressure on Wallace to keep his starting prop position when he comes on.
16 – Jai Arrow (3 Origin Caps)
A standout for the Titans, Arrow copped heat for his Queensland performances last season but will be better for the experience and at 23 is primed for a long Maroons career in the pack.
17 – Christian Welch (0 Origin Caps)
After going so close to earning his maiden Origin selection last season, Welch gets the call this time around. The Storm prop is the most under-rated middle in NRL and the workaholic will thrive doing the dirty work off the bench.