State of Origin – Game Two

Sunday 24th June. 7:40PM AEST – ANZ Stadium

The Brad Fittler Era could not have started better for New South Wales with a dominant 22-12 win in the series opener at the MCG. The final score did not reflect the Blues’ dominance. New South Wales made six line breaks to Queensland’s one and missed only 21 tackles to Queensland’s 51. A length-of-the-field intercept is all that kept Queensland in it when the Blues opened up an early lead. Most concerning for Queensland was their lack of playmaking.

The series moves to ANZ Stadium in Sydney and both teams have made changes. The Blues have lost Reagan Campbell-Gillard to a broken jaw with either Ryan James or Matt Prior slated to replace him. Queensland get Billy Slater back from injury but have lost Michael Morgan. Anthony Milford was dropped for outstanding rookie Kalyn Ponga.

Betting on the match has Queensland as the biggest underdogs of any Origin clash this century.

Queensland are in a big bounce-back spot and have to be a bet with the notable start. The series is on the line and so are the reputations of a number of Maroons who disappointed so badly in the opener. Five of the last seven winners of the series opener have dropped the second game to keep the series alive with only one of those matches decided by more than 10 points.

ANZ posses no fear for Queensland. The road team has won seven of the last 13 Origins and the Maroons have won four of the last six at the ground. Homebush has tended to lend itself to close matches with the last six at ANZ decided by four points or fewer.

New South Wales launched a blitzkrieg on Queensland in the series opener. The Maroons were unprepared. The heavy track of ANZ, the fact the Maroons have seen the Blues under Fittler, some smart team changes and the desperation in the Queensland camp make Kevin Walters’ team a play in the second game. The line is just too big.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – QLD +8.5


Total

The under is the best bet in Origin II. Scoring has tended to skew up in recent Origins with six straight Origins and eight of the last nine topping 28. NSW in particular has started scoring more with 16-plus points scored in five of their last six. That trend though is more than offset by the recent history at ANZ, that has seen nine straight fail to break 34. Five of those have failed to break 22 with the average in the last nine just 22.56. The series opener was free-flowing and only reached 34.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Under 34.5


Man of the Match

If the Maroons are to win the second game, it will be very much through the middle. Queensland will be looking for a forward tussle and selectors have not shied away in recent years from awarding the Man of the Match to middle forwards with a big workrate. The Maroons have no harder worker than McGuire and at a big price he is well worth a play.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Josh McGuire


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