Origin footy truly is a cauldron of pressure, an air of emotion and a test of a man’s backbone and composure. For first-timers it can be a daunting experience
Napa is a stud young prop in today’s competition. The redheaded firebrand brings a passion with his footy that is rarely seen from today’s footballer. It’s as if somebody was able to bottle up Gordon Tallis’ attitude into Adrian Morley’s body and add a dash of Paul Vautin’s carrot top for completeness.
Napa’s style of play is extremely aggressive. When he’s in the trenches you can see a creepy smile on his face like Heath ledger when he played the Joker. The guy loves every minute of the bashing and grinding.
Napa is the perfect origin specimen and I’m tipping him to have a belter against NSW. He knows he needs to step up because of the ageing legs on the QLD roster. Look for Napa to cement his spot for the next five origin seasons at least.
A great young player in his own right, Milford has the potential to be a game-breaker in this series. Milford has been tipped for some time to take over Thurston’s five-eighth jersey after his retirement from Origin footy – No Pressure!
Milford’s size and his defensive deficiencies could be his undoing in this series. Origin is about not giving an inch and putting your body on the line. Milford gives up about 3 feet and 20 kilos.
With the pressure of Thurston returning, I expect this to be a baptism of fire for Milford. I can really see him struggling in this one.
If you’re like me you’ll feel as though Peats has been here before. Surprisingly he’ll be making his debut in Game 1.
Peats was second choice for this game with Daley making it clear, and public that Wallace was his first choice. Knowing that your coach didn’t think you were the right man for the job in the first place is less than ideal.
Going up against Cameron Smith in his opposite number is no easy feat as well. Peats will need to be almost flawless to combat what the maestro Smith brings to the table.
I’m not prepared to say Peats will crumble, but I don’t expect any headlines to be written about him on Thursday morning.
All I expect is a sound game, hoping he minimizes errors and makes smart in-play decisions. For a Hooker on debut that will be a good performance.
Jakey boy is in the rare position where he has played for his country before his state. You know this kid has been a beast and deserves his spot.
Trbojevic has proven to be able to handle the pressure of the big stage before. The added benefit of being able to see the game from the bench before being injected will give him a great boost. Going up against a weakened forward pack by Queensland standards should really benefit him as well.
The state has faith in Jake. He has the opportunity to establish himself as yet another all-time back-rower for the Blues and be a force in year’s to come.
By Nik Hatzi