State of Origin – game two

New South Wales Blues vs Queensland Maroons – Sunday night – Perth Stadium

New South Wales Blues
  1. James Tedesco (Sydney Roosters)
  2. Blake Ferguson (Parramatta Eels)
  3. Tom Trbojoveic (Manly Sea Eagles)
  4. Jack Wighton (Canberra Raiders)
  5. Josh Addo-Carr (Melbourne Storm)
  6. James Maloney (Penrith Panthers)
  7. Nathan Cleary (Penrith Panthers)
  8. Daniel Saifiti (Newcastle Knights)
  9. Damien Cook (South Sydney Rabbitohs)
  10. Paul Vaughan (St George Illawarra Dragons)
  11. Boyd Cordnor (c) (Sydney Roosters)
  12. Tyson Frizell (St George Illawarra Dragons)
  13. Jake Trbojevic (Manly Sea Eagles)
  14. Dale Finucane (Melbourne Storm)
  15. Tariq Sims (St George Illawarra Dragons)
  16. Cameron Murray (South Sydney Rabbitohs)
  17. Wade Graham (Cronulla Sharks)

Coach - Brad Fittler

Queensland Maroons
  1. Kalyn Ponga (Newcastle Knights)
  2. Corey Oates (Brisbane Broncos)
  3. Michael Morgan (North Queensland Cowboys)
  4. Will Chambers (Melbourne Storm)
  5. Dane Gagai (South Sydney Rabbitohs)
  6. Cameron Munster (Melbourne Storm)
  7. Daly Cherry-Evans (c) (Manly Sea Eagles)
  8. Dylan Napa (Canterbury Bulldogs)
  9. Ben Hunt (St George Illawarra Dragons)
  10. Josh Papalii (Canberra Raiders)
  11. Felise Kaufusi (Melbourne Storm)
  12. Matt Gillett (Brisbane Broncos)
  13. Josh McGuire (North Queensland Cowboys)
  14. Moses Mbye (Wests Tigers)
  15. Jarrod Wallace (Gold Coast Titans)
  16. Tim Glasby (Newcastle Knights)
  17. David Fifita (Brisbane Broncos)

Coach - Kevin Walters

* Note that team lists are subject to considerable change and will be updated as soon as possible.

It's a peculiar thing sports journalism. Last year the NSW-based media were calling Blues coach Freddie Fittler the best thing to happen to Origin since forever. He was a bit different. He was approachable. He was happy to talk to (and comfortable in front of) the media. He dressed like a man who was heading out to an art gallery opening after the hooter sounded. He went from coaching Lebanon to coaching NSW and, most importantly, he won them a series with his first crack. One year on, and with the series well and truly alive, the NSW-based media are questioning the man in black. And when I say questioning, I mean questioning his faculties.

Is Freddie mad? Has he lost the plot? What's he doing? They could ask him I suppose. That's their job, and I'm sure Freddie would give them an answer.

Of course, this questioning the faculties of an Origin coach is something we're pretty familiar with, because they were doing exactly the same thing with QLD coach Kevvie Walters before game one. Kevvie and Freddie – a pair of loons in charge of the clipboards for what is one of the great sporting series on the planet.

The madness of King Kevin got results, so our media buddies, always looking for a new angle and something to say, have swung the pendulum the other way and focused their accusations on King Freddie. Freddie will smile and laugh it off, as he does, but will his form of 'madness' get results?

Phil Gould, cut from a different block of wood to most, suggested after game one that the difference between the two sides was a length of the field intercept. It was the only points QLD scored when NSW were down to 12 men. Phil argued there really wasn't much between the sides. He could very well be right – that was certainly the difference on the scoreboard and I'm sure Phil has watched that first game ten more times than I have. What Phil didn't mention was the number of tries QLD nearly scored. Oates puts a foot on the sideline on his way to the stripe. Napa fails to ground the ball as he falls on it next to the uprights. Gillett is fouled in the act of scoring near the posts. QLD could have won that game by a much wider margin. They didn't, but I don't think you can ignore the fact that QLD created more scoring opportunities than NSW, and they dominated the middle third of the field in the second half. The other thing we shouldn't ignore is that NSW, whose scoring opportunities were much more limited, usually capitalised when an opportunity came up. The only time I can recall they didn't was the Wighton intercept to Gagai – a key turning point in the game.

Some of the changes to the NSW team were thrust upon them, some by choice. Two things jump out at me when I look at the NSW seventeen:

  • They have two centres who aren't specialist centres – this is a key position because so many tries in Origin (especially the early tries) are scored by the wingers. Centres play a key role in attack and defence when it comes to scoring and stopping those tries on the edges. Tommy Turbo is a star and has played out of position before, but he's not a centre. I can't recall if Wighton has played any senior footy in the centres...but I doubt it. They're replacing two specialist centres – one is a senior player who made eight tackle breaks in the first half of game one, and the other was being lauded as the best player in the game only a month ago. Morris was squaring off against Michael Morgan, playing out of position himself, and that might explain why Morris made eight tackle breaks. It's a huge punt by Fittler. Perhaps he is crazy after all.
  • They have two specialist props in their seventeen – the game went through a period where it was all about back-rowers, and perhaps we are still in that period, but prop forwards lay the platform, and the great coaches (Bennett, Bellamy, Hasler, Robinson) know how to rotate your props through the 80 minutes and get the best out of them. One of their props is making his debut, and Saifiti and Vaughan can't play Origin for 80 minutes. Vaughan played for 40 in game one. Finucane and Sims will need to be used as props off the bench, and they'll have to give 40+ minutes of time on the field in that role. They're great footballers, but it's an ask. Note that QLD have four props in their seventeen, and two forwards (Fifita and McGuire) who can do it if they have to.

While those two points are points of concern, the primary reason I'm tipping QLD to win the series on Sunday is the playmakers. The NSW halves (Cleary and Maloney) have plenty of experience together but they are hardly setting the world alight in attack. Penrith have scored 12, 4, 10, 15, 19 and 19 points in their last six games. Yeeesh! Munster and Cherry-Evans combined well in game one, and there's no reason they won't be better in game two. Note that Munster, Ponga and Oates combined on the left edge to score a try in the 52nd minute, and then Cherry-Evans, Ponga and Gagai combined to score on the right edge in the 70th minute. They have options everywhere, and Ponga can slot in on either edge and deliver the sweetest of passes to a winger – right to left or left to right. How good is he? Rugby boo!!!!!!

Verdict – QLD 22 to defeated NSW 14

First try scorer – Cameron Munster

Man of the Match – Kalyn Ponga


The Thinker's picture

Greetings Origin fans

A random Origin competition for game two this weekend. The prize will be a pack of NRL team playing cards, and the Thinkers' merchandise randomiser will pull a random pack out of his stash. You could end up with your favourite team, or your least favourite team. Pretty crappy prize but it's a bit of fun. Just add your entries in the comments section.

I need you to give me:

* the winning team

* a first try scorer

* a last try scorer

* the official player of the match

and finally:

* a margin

Each of the first four (team, 1st scorer, last scorer and MOM) are worth one point each. In the event of a tie the person who is closest to the margin gets the prize. You need to have the winning team with your margin pick (eg. QLD by 4).

Final winner is determined by a panel of one (me).

If you have any questions just let me know.

All the best


Rick Lane's picture

QLD by 7
First try Corey Oates
Last try Gagai
Man of Match D.C.Evans

Johnny Awesome's picture

I agree with much of your analysis Mr Thinker however games are often won via a mindset. How long can this Kev Walters we expect to win mantra work? NSW with all their changes are just going softly softly. So the pressure on the Qld side could go three ways: 1. Over confident 2. Under pressure to replicate game one or 3. Carry on where they left off.
I reckon it’s a bit of 1 and 2 and NSW have a chance.
Winning team: NSW
1st try scorer is Josh Addo-Carr
Last try scorer: Trbojevic
Player of the match: Maloney
Margin will be 2 points.

Cheers from the original Johnny Awesome

Baggy_Gee's picture

NSW to win
First Try Scorer Ponga
Last Try scorer Ponga
MOM Tom Trbojevic
Margin 9pts

a's picture

NSW to win
Dane Gagai
James Tedesco
MOM Nathan Clearly
Margin 4

Mary S's picture

I'll have to break this NSW fiasco!!

Team -QLD to win by 6 points
1st try -Dane Gagai
Last try - Boyd Cordnor
MOM - Cameron Munster


Tailspin's picture

QLD to win by 8
First try scorer Corey Oates
Last try scorer Dane Gagai
Man of the match Cameron Munster
GO Queenslander.

Jack.Starky's picture

QLD to win
First Try Scorer Corey Oates
Last Try scorer Kalyn Ponga
MOM Cameron Munster
Margin 14 pts

tigerholic's picture

Howdy Folks, thanks for this little extra competition Thinker, it adds a little extra interest and banter to the week and the game.

NSW of course by 8
First try scorer Tom Trbojoveic
Last Try scorer Josh Addo-Carr
MOM James Maloney

Have a great week folks

Grahamgunners's picture

Team -QLD to win by 10 points
1st try - Ponga
Last try - J. Trbojevic
MOM - Cameron Munster

Rocket Ryan's picture

C Munster
Qld by 10pts

Rocket Ryan's picture

I was not aware a is a cockroach what a shame.

mark ashford's picture

Hey Thinker
A very difficult comp but a fun one.
QLD to win.
Ist try Tedesco
Last try Oates
MoM Munster
QLD by 6
QUEENSLANDER QUEENSLANDER etc if he was playing Billy Moore to be a QUEENSLANDER LEGEND Yeah bring it on.

christine 's picture

I am breaking the mould here I am going QLD TO WIN HERE & magins I don't care by how much as long as QUEENSLAND WIN & mom gagai ...

christine 's picture

Rocket "a" jumped ship origin 1 I told him certain colours don't wash well toughter better watch those washing instructions & when red starts to run it's hard to stop ...

christine 's picture

Thinker for not following the rules I was never one for the rules book anyway i'm a bit of a rebel ...

The Tide Head's picture

Hi Thinker!
* the winning team NSW
* a first try scorer Cleary
* a last try scorer Gagai
* the official player of the match: Maloney
* a margin: 10

Mike T.'s picture

Qld, by 12
First try, Ben Hunt
Last try, T. Trbojoveic
M of M, K. Ponga.
Fingers and eyes crossed!

bradapple's picture

Easy game for NSW this oje.. NSW by 8
First try- tommy turbo
Last try adocarr
Mom- Maloney

scottyh's picture

QLD to Win
Ist try Tedesco
Last try Ponga.
Qld by 2
MOM Ponga

Walby's picture

NSW to win.
Blake Ferguson, first try.
Dane Gagai, Last try.
James Maloney, Man of the Match.
4 Points Margin

Baggy_Gee's picture

The Baggy girls tips.
Nsw to win
First try Nathan clearly
Last try Daniel saifiti
Mom jack wighton
Margin 4

Christine 's picture

? Where is johnny awesome he seems to have fallen off the map somewhere we haven't really heard from him since he meet big pete , thinker can you try to contact johnny awesome please so we know he is ok ...

Dragons-fanboy's picture

Hello everyone, so my picks for Thinker's little comp are:

Winning team: NSW
First try scorer: Addo-Carr
Last try scorer: Hunt
MOTM: Tedesco
Margin: 4


Dragons-fanboy's picture

I'm also going to be doing my predictions for the rep round this week (under 18's, women's, tests, origin men's are all going to be included). These are as follows:

NSW U18s women - 26
Try scorers: Staines 3, Berry, Fay
Conversions: Curtain (3/5) (Not even sure if she is the goal kicker, just guessing lol)
Qld U18s women - 18
Try scorers: Revell-Blair, Tamati, Mikaio, Polata
Conversions: Polata (1/4) (Same thing here, not even sure if she's the kicker)

2021 World Cup qualifier
Cook Islands - 64
Try scorers: Marsters (5), Dargan (2), Porter, Mataora, Iro, Moeroa, Takairangi
Conversions: Dargan (11/12)
South Africa - 6
Try scorer: B. Frei
Conversions: Will Smith (1/1)

Women's SOO
NSW - 20
Try scorers: Kelly (2), McGregor, Sergis
Conversions: Studdon (2/4)
Qld - 12
Try scorers: Brigginshaw (2)
Conversions: Brigginshaw (2/2)

Women's Test
NZ Kiwi Ferns - 30
Try scorers: Fotu Moala, Hireme, Kani, Nicholls, Poko, Rota
Conversions: Rota (3/6)
Samoa - 10
Try scorers: BJ Ale, MJ Ale
Conversions: Fuimaono (1/2) (Just another guess of the goal kicker for this team)

Men's test
NZ - 14
Try scorers: Tuivasa-Sheck, Maumalo
Conversions: Johnson (2/2)
Penalty Goals: Johnson (1/1)
Tonga - 12
Try scorers: Kata, Tupou
Conversions: Lolohea: (2/2)

Women's Test
PNG - 12
Try scorers: Albert, Soni
Conversions: Anjo (2/2) (No surprise here another guess on goal kicker)
Fiji - 8
Try scorers: C. Sims, T. Holmes
Conversions: Wai (0/2)

Men's Test
Fiji - 36
Try scorers: Vunivalu (3), Sivo (2), K. Sims
Conversions: Moceidreke (5/6)
Penalty Goals: Moceidreke (1/1)
Lebanon - 12
Try scorers: Maarbani, Reece Robinson
Conversions: Reece Robinson (2/2)

Men's Test
Samoa - 22
Try scorers: Isaako, Harris-Tavita, Hymel Hunt, Faitala-Mariner
Conversions: Isaako (1/2), Harris-Tevita (2/2)
PNG - 4
Try scorer: Segeyaro
Conversions: Martin (0/1)

Men's State of Origin
NSW - 18
Try scorers: Addo-Carr, Tedesco, Vaughan
Conversions: Nathan Cleary (3/3)
Qld - 14
Try scorers: Ponga, Hunt
Conversions: Ponga (2/2)
Penalty Goals: Ponga (1/1)

Awesome. Good luck to everyone with the origin, hope the mighty Blues come back and tie it up. Cheers!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Johnny Awesome's picture

Hi all and Hey Christine, I’m still around but working full time, travelling to Kandos/Rylstone every fortnight and sorting out family stuff in Canberra it’s been hard to come on and comment especially, since I prefer to read before doing so. My apologies and to Big Pete as well for not following up our last conversation. Thanks for your comments Christine they are always appreciated. My words to Kev Walters...Go the Blues who are massive underdogs and according to Qld not respected enough to be acknowledged by them. It’s ok to be confident especially when you have the best players in the game like Qld does but having a positive mindset doesn’t mean you disrespect your opponent. By all means say what you feel Kevvy that you will win again and you should with the team you have but there is room also for respect and a touch of humility. Remember your roots It seems being coach of a team that has the best players has made you indifferent and brash. I would love to see you coach for example Canterbury and face Melbourne and see how confident you still are about expecting to win. Anyway, I’ve said my piece, a thing called Karma hangs around a bit and it may or may not play s part in this game.
Cheers all from the original Johnny Awesome

Hardyards's picture

QLD to win
1st TS Josh Addo-Carr
Last TS Dane Gagai
MOM Kalyn Ponga
Margin 8 points
Thanks Mr Thinker.

Buzz105's picture

the winning team - Qld
first try scorer - Oates
Last Try Scorer - Munster
player of the match - Munster
margin - 7 points

mark ashford's picture

You are a NSW supporter and I respect that. I wish your team well this weekend. What I'm posting about is your dog photo. I guess it's your dog and as a hopeless dog lover can you give me some details, breed, name age etc and any fun things you two get up to.

mark ashford's picture

Hey Johnnie Awesome
Great to see a comment from you after a little break.
I think you are being a little hard on Kevvie maybe reading a bit too much of NSW media who always tell the truth of course.
You won the series last year against Kevvie's Maroons so can't see how he has the best players this year. Yes we won game 1 in Brisbane but by only 4 points. Perth will be a bit different as both teams away. You have a great list of players as does QLD. The team who wants it most will win. Stop reading local media rubbish (it's the same here in QLD) and just enjoy the game. Nice to see you back!

Johnny Awesome's picture

Hi all,
Wise words Mark. However, it’s not much the media actually. Not even acknowledging a team is what gets to me. I know it’s all this Freudian horse whisperer stuff but threatening Qld players with fines if they mention a name or the other team sinks to another level in my view. If you want the win that much that you can’t acknowledge the competition, well get your win but lose my respect. I love my tennis, cricket, AFL, motorsports, golf etc as well not as much as league, but up there. Do you hear Federer ignoring Nadals name or even the league coaches after a game of footy not mentioning the other team, nah, it doesn’t happen. So will this be the new norm? Here’s a bit of Trivia for everyone, the coach whisperer and Kev’s concept is not new.
Akiba Rubinstein a great Polish chess grandmaster born in the 1800’s once was asked Who is your opponent tonight, tonight, he replied I am playing against the Black pieces. I remember this quote well because apart from playing rugby league I competed at high level chess back in the 70’s and I moulded my game on his style and that of Karpov who were very strategic chess players. I actually won the Western Region Zone chess championship in 1977 beating the NSW chess champion at the time (under 16’s). Maybe the coach whisperer got his inspiration from 120 years ago. Either way, Rubinstein used the quote pre game to illustrate his focus was on his game only and not worrying about the other player. However, he acknowledged his opponent before and after the game and that’s the difference. Mark you are absolutely correct in saying it was a close game, an intercept the difference. Mr Thinker is also right that Qld had more scoring opportunities. Kev said his team were playing 6 out 10 and there was more in store. Bring it on then, anything less than a NSW flogging he should resign I say. Maybe I’m just having one of those nights when things irritate me a tad. Cheers all and enjoy the footy like I will regardless of these little incidentals I spoke of.
Cheers from the original Johnny Awesome. Excuse typo’s from my phone,

christine 's picture

Johnny awesome
I have never seen you so fired up before is it just origin or is there something else going on my friend ???

Johnny Awesome's picture

Hi Christine,
You are close to the bulls eye there. It’s State of Origin fever coupled with that full moon we’ve had here in Canberra. I’ll leave my howling till after the game :-)
Cheers from Mr Awesome

Walby's picture

Hi Mark,
Thanks for inquiring about my mate.
Misha was her name she passed away a couple of years ago aged around 10, but was the best dog that I've owned. She was an American Staffy and had 2 litters before she was desexed at around 3.
We live in Humpty Doo, South of Darwin on a small acreage which she loved. Back then I used to do a lot of Skydiving out of Batchelor and that was her favourite place in the world. Extra meals, kids to play with, one of the locals free to roam around and welcomed by everyone.
It was in Batchelor when she was around 4 that she ran underneath a car and the Vet had no option but to amputate her front leg, you would think that would slow down most dogs, but it just made her faster, in the end she learnt how to do a slide on her legless side then produce a step on her good leg, no other dog could beat her to the ball, ever.
In her final years we were given a Great Dane who is still around today, massive dog. She taught him things Old Dogs teach young Dogs and every now and then he would try and turn on the Alpha Male role, but she was always still the boss.
Hope its a great game on Sunday, Walby.

Rob's picture

Winning team - Qld
First try scorer - Cook
Last Try Scorer - Munster
Player of the match - Munster
Margin - 7 points

mark ashford's picture

Hey Walby
Thanks for that info mate. Sounds like Misha was a great dog, a faithful friend and an entertainer to boot. So sad dogs only live a relatively short life. No doubt her spirit lives on in your Great Dane.
Good luck to your team on Sunday, I'm sure it will be a cracker of a game. You're ahead of me on Thinkers ladder. Hope that's not an omen for what happens on Sunday! Keep well.

mark ashford's picture

Johnny A
The "no mention" crap or advice came from the "coach whisperer"
I know Kevvie didn't have to accept it but he came with some credentials after Trent Robinson said he was a major factor in the Roosters success. He's from NSW so I'm surprised he's mentoring QLD.
Maybe Brad knocked him back. He did live on the Gold Coast for some years and that's where I met him. I can't say too much (as he'll probably sue me) but the word "fruit loop" comes to mind.
I agree it's totally disrespectful not to acknowledge your opponent and was shocked to see Kevvie go this way. In QLD we love a fair go and respect for other teams. This stinks.

christine 's picture

I said it last time before origin 1 & I will say it again let the better team win which ever team that may be all I know is it will be a wet game that is the prediction ...

tigerholic's picture

Hello Walby
It was great to hear that you live in Humpty Doo, I lived in Darwin at Palmerston for about 3 years, played a bit of rugby for the Humpty Doo Swamp Dogs, I only played for the social side of the sport which was fantastic.

My sister still lives in Darwin in Tiwi. Glad to see you follow the Blues mate, lets hope we can square the series on Sunday night.


BigPeteBx's picture

Good Friday evening to you all, on Thinker site.

Re SoO 2 in Perth - for me:
Winning Team - NSW
Margin - 6 pts
1st Tryscorer - K. Ponga
Last Tryscorer - T. Trbojevic
Player (Man) of the Match - J. Tedesco

NSW knows they have to win, to take SoO 3 back to Sydney to a packed house and loads more cash, for NRL to function with.

I will be looking forward to SoO 2 in Perth Newbie, to see just how the crowd takes to this and if they burst the seams with a great initiation for rugby league, at the new Perth Stadium.

Cheers all and keep well
Big Pete

Johnny Awesome's picture

Hi all,
Mark, in regards to your last on. Christine, I agree let the best team win as long as it’s NSW. Big Pete, my apologies for not getting back, I’ve been snowed under with a lot of stressful stuff. I’m heading off on my fortnightly trip to see Mum tomorrow at Rylstone. Would love to catch up again but it’s a rush trip this weekend, I have to be back in Canberra by 4.00pm Sunday. I’ll give you a heads up on my next trip down which will he in three weeks I reckon ok
Cheers from the original Johnny Awesome

BigPeteBx's picture

@ J. Awesome - have a GREAT day mate.
No probs mate and I haven't or didn't forget you.!
Nice for us to catch up whenever, it doesn't need to be each month, especially after Manly has played St George.

@Christine - thanks for thinking and caring, but I wasn't behind the mysterious disappearance of Johnny Awesome. He may have frozen up for a few days. We had -7 here in Bx this morning. But Thredbo got to a top of -2 yesterday.

@ Mark A - you going camping or something mate. Hope you enjoy that meat supply. We were informed, my tipping friend from Bribie, came into the shop. News travels fast and thanks for supporting their business, as I think like a lot of places around Australia, that Centre Managements can make it difficult for business, especially if the Centre's don't open early to catch the earlier rising shoppers.
But of course and typical, they want their rents paid and on time.

To all others here and until I get back to the boards.

Cheers my good friends and have great day/weekend, keep well and enjoy SoO 2.

Big Pete

mark ashford's picture

Big Pete
Yes we are going on our annual fishing trip to Fraser Island in about 5 weeks. We were a bit disappointed by the meat last year from another Bribie butcher. After you mentioned Slice & Dice was an old mate I decided to take our order there. When I mentioned our friendship on Thinker Greg opened up and his wife came out and said "are you talking about my special friend Pete -----" (no names)
When I told him I was from the Gold Coast he really opened up.
Having had major meat shops there.
It became like a family reunion which was great.
Our order is fairly substantial 6 carnivorous blokes for 8 days.
Hope it helps a bit with his rent. His shop is amazing no doubt the best window on Bribie. I've encouraged everyone I know to go there and support him.

BigPeteBx's picture

Hello Mark - thanks for reply and extra thanks for supporting Slice & Dice. They really appreciate it and Wendy told me Greg was chuffed over your nice favourable comment about best window on Bribie.
They are a great couple and came down here for a significant birthday of mine, a few years ago now. U and I are close on the same number. We'll leave it at that for now here. We'd be lost without good butchers Bro.
Yes, I quite often read about the adventures of a couple here at Fraser.

Cheers, keep well and have a nice evening tonight as we watch the big one from Perth.
Big Pete from a very frosty/icy Bx.

christine 's picture

Johnny awesome you can have your nsw give me QLD any day even though I live in nsw I have always taken QLD my father hates that I do go for QLD but I just tell him I only support a wining team ...

TipStar's picture

State of Origin II
Winner - NSW
1st Try Scorer - Gagai
Last Try Scorer - Addo-Carr
Man of Match - Tedesco
Margin - 11

Islander's picture

NSW by 14
First try scorer Jack wighton
Last try scorer Tom Trbojevic
Man of the match James Tedesco.

DarK-HorsE's picture

Queensland by 8
First try Corey Oates
Last try Kalyn Ponga
Man of the match Kalyn Ponga

Let’s good Queensland 💪💪💪

Baggy_Gee's picture

Did anyone pick the bunker as QLD first try scorer.

The Thinker's picture

What happened with the game clock at around the 36 minute mark. I feel like they played an extra fiveminutes in that half. 


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