State of Origin Game 2 – Key comparisons on the Team Sheets

An analysis on the key matchups around the park as well as who holds the advantage on paper. You may even be able to find the winner if you look deep enough.

Sun, 18 Jun, 1:30 AM



Billy Slater v James Tedesco


This is arguably a matchup that could decide this outcome. Teddy was a beast in Game 1 but he’ll be compared against his idol and probably the best to ever play the position in Billy Slater. Slater gets the nod, only just.


Pick: QLD


Centres / Wings

Holmes-Boyd-Chambers-Gagai v Morris-Dugan-Hayne-Ferguson

The Blues backline played very well offensively in Game 1. Hayne’s defensive deficiencies at Centre could be exploited with Queensland’s improved spine and the aggressive nature of Chambers.


Queensland on the big stage never cease to disappoint.


Pick: QLD


Five Eighth

Jonathan Thurston v James Maloney

Maloney had the wood on Milford last game, but he’s up against one of the best ever in this contest. Thurston will be a welcome addition to a Queensland pack that lacked direction last game.


Maloney will really need to step up offensively. He’ll need to take some of the kicking pressure off Pearce and keep an eye on the silly high tackles he makes at least once a game.


Pick: QLD



Cooper Cronk v Mitchell Pearce

Not much to think about for this one.


I think we’ll be seeing a different Pearce to recent years given his style for the Roosters this year. Unfortunately he could revamp his style 5x over and he wouldn’t be selected over Cronk.


You don’t lead an Origin squad to 4 victories in the last 5 series and not win this comparison.


Pick: QLD



Cameron Smith v Nathan Peats

I have no doubt that Nathan Peats will make the 9 jersey his own over the coming years. For now, he’s up against the wiliest, most cunning customers State of Origin has ever seen.


Cameron Smith is clever in everything he does. How he tackles, how he talks to the referees, when he darts, when he passes. Peats has a lot of catching up to do before he is on Smith’s level.


Pick: QLD


Front Row

Napa-Wallace v Woods-Fifita

Must give the nod to the boys in Blue. They played a complete game first time round and I expected much of the same in this one.


Napa is a beast but with Wallace on debut, they don’t have the talent that Woods and Fifita hold.


Fifita is the perfect origin specimen. He runs hard, has a mouth as big as his ass and genuinely wants to rip the head off every Queenslander. Woods gets through a significant workload. NSW gets the nod in the battle of the bookends.


Pick: NSW


Second Row/Lock

Cooper-Gillett-McGuire v Jackson-Cordner-Frizell

When you really think about it the second rowers on the NSW roster outweigh those in Maroon. The Blues had a great game in Game 1 and with Cooper pushing Papalii to the bench it just bolsters the argument more.


If Cooper were replaced with a Papalii I’d side with the Maroons.


Pick: NSW




Morgan-Papalii-Hess-Glasby v Klemmer-Graham-Trbojevic-Bird

Blues. This one isn’t even a contest. Morgan is a livewire and Papalii is a machine. However, Hess and Glasby are new to the scene and won’t match it with the likes of Klemmer, Trbojevic, Graham and Bird.


Klemmer, Graham and Trbojevic are all International level players and Bird seems like the ideal utility in an origin match up. No need to overthink this contest.


Pick: NSW


Overall Record QLD 5 – NSW 3


Queensland are a new look in this one. If the Forwards can keep it close to what New South Wales is packing then this game will have a chance to go the way of the Maroons.


The Maroons have the smarter spine, which can assist their forwards in getting an advantage in field position.


When all is said and done, Origin matches come down to the wire and to have an extra 4 points in your pocket is a great bit of insurance. I like the Blues to win by under 13 and the Queenslander look well placed to cover the line.


Best Bet: Under 32.5

Line: Queensland+4

Margin: NSW 1-12



By Nik Hatzi

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