State Of Origin Game 1

Picture: David Kapernick/theaustralian.com.au
QLD will bid for a seventh straight Origin series win. Image courtesy of: David Kapernick/theaustralian.com.au
It’s time. The 2012 State of Origin series kick off from Etihad Stadium in Melbourne on Wednesday night in what will be the first origin played in Melbourne since 2009. NSW are searching for redemption and QLD are searching for seven straight origin series wins after a dominant tenure at the top of the greatest rivalry in Australian sport. The Blues have named four debutants for the clash including Sharks five-eight Todd Carney and Cowboys powerhouse James Tamou. QLD’s team has practically picked itself based experience and current form with the only new addition Brisbane’s Matt Gillett.

History – The two states have met on 93 occasions with the Blues winning 42, Maroons 49 and 2 drawn games. NSW have won two of the past nine games against the QLD side and haven’t won an origin game in Melbourne since game two at the MCG in 1997. Despite falling short last series the Blues were a lot closer to QLD than in previous series and will hope to build on their performance for this campaign.

Dangermen – Both sides have their fair share of attacking weapons that are capable of breaking the line and changing the fabric of a game. NSW coach Ricky Stuart will expect big performances from Michael Jennings  and Jarryd Hayne after selecting the out of form duo on previous series form. QLD’s Greg Inglis is in career best form and will take the Blues defence on early while Brent Tate returns to the origin arena after a horrific injury run.

Prediction – What a showdown! This game needs little introduction and is sure to be one of the toughest in origin history. The Blues need to win to restore pride in the sky blue jersey, while QLD are capable of continuing their fairy-tale run. Both teams are very well balanced in the forwards however it’s hard to go past the QLD backs. QLD 1-12 .

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