State Of Origin Game 2 Rugby League Preview & Betting Tips
The Origin squads for Game II are in – and there is at least one major surprise!
NSW Blues and Queensland Maroons Origin squads – Game II
Origin coaches Brad Fittler and Kevin Walters have named their squads for Game II of the series at ANZ Stadium and there are a few changes from the sides that ran out in Melbourne a few weeks back.
Walters has made a couple of significant changes by bringing in champion fullback Billy Slater and boom youngster Kalyn Ponga while Anthony Milford has been dropped from the team that lost 22-12 at the ‘G. Michael Morgan is also missing after tearing his bicep in the Cowboys loss to the Warriors.
Fittler, meanwhile, was forced to name an extended 20-man squad due to injury concerns to a handful of players including Latrell Mitchell, Reagan Campbell-Gillard and James Roberts.
What does all this mean heading into Game II?
It means that both coaches will more than likely have to implement different game plans to the ones they used in the opening match of the series. Fittler went for a ‘speed first’ approach in Game I which largely paid off but the Blues forwards did tend to go missing at certain stages of the match when they needed to get the side out of their own danger end.
Queensland’s game plan was the tried and trusty one that they’ve used for a number of years and that was to dominate the clash of the forwards and use their line speed to stifle the Blues playmakers.
This time around though Walters needs to try something different and that is evidenced by the fact he has called in Ponga to the side. The exciting Newcastle fullback gives Queensland another attacking threat and that is something they will need going into Game II because while they did score 12 points a few weeks back, both tries came off the back of Blues errors.
Ponga is considered one of the game’s next big things and you can see what he has already done in Newcastle that the tag is warranted.
Fittler will have to compensate for the loss of Panthers enforcer Campbell-Gillard and has called in Ryan James, Tariq Sims and bolter Matt Prior, who won the fight for the last spot in the team; while Luke Keary has also come in as cover for James Maloney, however, the latter is expected to be fit to play.
Slater’s inclusion into the squad is clouded with mystery as Walters will give the Storm fullback until Wednesday to prove his fitness. Remember, he was a late withdrawal for Game I and hasn’t played since. Dylan Napa has also been given until that time to prove he has overcome an ankle complaint.
NSW BLUES (20-man squad):
Josh Addo-Carr, Nathan Cleary, Damien Cook, Boyd Cordner, Angus Crichton, Jack de Belin, Tyson Frizell, Ryan James, Luke Keary, David Klemmer, James Maloney, Latrell Mitchell, Tyrone Peachey, Matt Prior, James Roberts, Tariq Sims, James Tedesco, Jake Trbojevic, Tom Trbojevic, Paul Vaughan.
Jai Arrow, Will Chambers, Gavin Cooper, Dane Gagai, Tim Glasby, Coen Hess, Valentine Holmes, Ben Hunt, Greg Inglis, Felise Kaufusi, Andrew McCullough, Josh Mcguire, Cameron Munster, Dylan Napa, Josh Papalii, Kalyn Ponga, Billy Slater and Jarrod Wallace.