Origin Game 2: Man of the Match Preview & Tips

It’s the biggest game of the year so far – who will shine in Origin 2?

James Baxter
 | 
Fri, 21 Jun, 12:00 AM

We’ve bring you a best and value bet for Queensland and New South Wales players to get the Man of the Match award from Perth.

QUEENSLAND

Best bet: Kalyn Ponga ($7* - Sportsbet) is in irresistible form and was one of the best players on the park in Origin 1 – not bad for someone making their Queensland starting debut. The flying fullback is already a key playmaker for his side, having 45 possessions last start with 136 run metres, two try assists and a line break.

It’s this attacking brilliance which captures the eye and will have the Newcastle superstar in pole position to be the best on ground should you fancy the Maroons delivering.

Value bet: Josh McGuire ($34* - Sportsbet) is a top value candidate if you reckon game two becomes a slugfest through the middle. McGuire will play big minutes and shoulder a huge workload. With Dylan Napa nursing a broken wrist, McGuire’s seniority will become even greater to hold things together against a New South Wales pack who will ramp up the aggression.

McGuire made more metres from hitups (117m) than any other Queenslander in game one while making 48 tackles. McGuire will work himself into the ground and with his ability to stir the pot, he’s capable of turning the game’s tide.

NEW SOUTH WALES

Best bet: Damien Cook ($7.50* - BetEasy) is a superstar and in a losing side was one of the best on ground in the series opener. Cook ticks all the boxes you’d look for in a man of the match candidate – he’s a proven performer in the Origin arena, tackles anything that moves and capable of creating and scoring tries through his brilliant attacking talent.

With no backup hooker, Cook will play the whole game and if the Blues win, the Bunnies’ dummy-half will be a massive contributor.

Value bet: Jake Trbojevic ($26* - Sportsbet) is a perennial man of the match darkhorse – and with good cause. The Manly forward is known for his huge hits in defence but he also has tremendous passing ability.

Trbojevic is named at lock but is a candidate to spend time as a prop, which only increases his importance to the Blues and the number of carries he’ll receive. He scored in game one while having nearly double the possessions than any other Blues forward (excluding Cook) and will always be in the action with or without the ball.

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