Round 14 was great with each game was more exciting than the last, except for the first one and the last one and there was only four games. Round 15 is ahead with some tricky fixtures: 1st vs 2nd, 3rd vs 5th, 11th vs 12th and the always celebrated 14th vs 16th. There’s also an Origin game where New South Wales are going to try to stitch up their first series in a few years.
Queensland (58-2-49) @ New South Wales (49-2-58)
The core issue the Maroons faced in the last game is that they were roughly as effective as the Belgian border at stopping the Germans, which is the Blues forward pack in this poor choice of an analogy.
The Blues’ forwards were so good that they didn’t even bother selecting Paul Vaughan in what I assume is an example of classic anti-Italian bias in the NSWRL selectors panel (Germans again). Andrew Fifita, meanwhile, continues to weigh a, literally, solid 15kg over any of the Queensland forwards. While the Storm contained him fairly well when they played the Sharks recently, Origin seems to get him pretty fired up and the physics of momentum is his friend.
The Queensland selection changes seemed to be made due to public and media pressure. If you believed Slater was good enough for game 2, why not pick him for game 1? It’s not like Darius Boyd was the weak point in the team. Adding Valentine Holmes, yet another fullback, feels like someone has not analysed the issues correctly in a panic to be seen to be fixing the problem.
While I’m tipping NSW, I do hope that everyone that wrote the Queensland dynasty’s obituary before the second game was stitched up are shown up in a hilariously embarrassing way.