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15-06-2011 12:00AM at ANZ Stadium
Combinations, Cohesion, Courage, Class and the Count. This is what will decide game 2 of the 2011 State of Origin series at ANZ Stadium on Wednesday night.
Combinations in defence can obviously make or break a team's performance. The Blues, as is their tradition, have made 8 positional changes from their game 1 loss and most importantly, to a wing/centre combination. Jarryd Hayne joins debutant Will Hopoate on the left side for NSW and if history has taught us anything, they will need at least one game together to get this right. The Blues don't have 1 game.
Cohesion falls under the same umbrella; the Blues will hear a different voice behind them in defence as Anthony Minichiello makes his return to the game's biggest arena. A great story for The Count but once again this change will affect cohesion. Courage... In the Rugby League world, nobody typifies this word more than Minichiello. New South Wales will have plenty of it, especially if they have to defend their try line as often as game 1 which is highly likely.
Class. This is where the Queenslanders simply cannot be touched. Blues fans are probably sick of hearing their names at this stage but as always, the Maroons success will start with Cam Smith and his two front rowers in Civoniceva and Scott; and finish with Lockyer and.... hang on..... We ARE sick of hearing their names. Whoever they are, they will flourish in the wet weather conditions, and thrive in the familiar position of a series clinching game.
Expect improved performances from Mitchell Pearce and Jamie Soward as their combination grows. Expect a master class in wet weather positional play by all four halves. Expect a few more penalties in this game after both sides complained about game 1 ruck speed. Expect another fiery and physical battle in Rugby League's version of all out war and finally, don't expect me to tip against the Blues. This will be another intense and amazing chapter in Origin so sit tight and enjoy.
|New South Wales Queensland|
|2011||State of Origin I||Suncorp Stadium||Queensland||16-12|
|2010||State of Origin Game 3 2010||ANZ Stadium, Sydney||Queensland||23-18|
|2010||State of Origin Game 2 2010||Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane||Queensland||34-6|
|2010||State of Origin Game 1 2010||ANZ Stadium||Queensland||28-24|
|2009||State of Origin 3||Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane||New South Wales||28-16|