2017 State of Origin 1. QLD v NSW odds, preview, team news and betting tipsPosted on 27/05 by Joe Gann
2017 State of Origin Odds, News and Tips
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The State of Origin is an annual tri-series event that pits the New South Wales Blues against the Queensland Maroons.
2016 Winners - Queensland
Seen by many as the pinnacle of the sport despite the participants being drawn exclusively from a domestic pool as opposed to a wider international competition, the contest in its present guise has been part of the rugby league calendar since 1980. In its modern format, players represent the state where they made their professional debut.
In each series, one team enjoys the advantage of two home fixtures and plays away at the home of their opponents for the third contest. This arrangement is rotated each year to ensure the events remain evenly balanced.
The 2015 series witnessed a change to this setup, however, as Melbourne was added as a neutral third venue. A record crowd for the competition saw 91,513 pack into the Melbourne Cricket Ground, contributing to a record 224,135 aggregate attendance for the three matches; Melbourne will return as a host city again in the 2018 series after the experiment proved to be an unqualified success.
Historically, the Queensland team has enjoyed the upper hand, winning 19 - including a record-breaking sequence of 8 wins in a row between 2006-2013 -to New South Wales' 14, with two series drawn. The Maroons are the current champions and will be assisted in their attempt to retain the crown by the advantage of two home fixtures; they will be seeking to win their 11th series in 12 years in the upcoming contests.
The Queensland side goes into the opening clash at Suncorp Stadium as favourites, but they will be pushed all the way by a re-invigorated New South Wales squad.
Queensland Coach Kevin Walters has sprung a few surprises with his selection, the most shocking of all being the omission of superstar full-back Billy Slater. There is also no room for Kangaroos' full-back Valentine Holmes as the Maroons' chief sticks to a tried and tested formula in which has opted to stay loyal to this particular band of players that he knows so well. It is a controversial selection that has garnered criticism in some quarters for appearing to invite stagnation to creep into a squad.
Question marks surround the merit of some players' inclusion given mediocre club form so far amid accusations that they have been picked on past Origin reputation alone. The Maroons may also suffer from a dearth of experience in important areas as a result of the retirement of Corey Parker and long-term injuries to key duo Greg Inglis and Matt Scott. The Maroons may have their backs to the wall, but it would be unwise to write off the perennial champions' chances.
The New South Wales squad announcement revealed some bold decisions by Coach Laurie Daley, as the Blues unveil a new- look side for the 2017 Origin series. With a new Captain at the helm in the figure of Boyd Cordner, the Blues will be looking to reverse the recent trend of Queensland triumphs.
The exciting selections suggest that the timing may suit the Blues as they look to capitalise on potential weaknesses in the Maroon's line-up. Daley has, on the whole, decided to follow the mantra of picking the players who are in form, breathing new life into a squad that has suffered a catalogue of disappointments over recent times.
This looks like a group bursting with match-winning talent but, as Origin traditions dictate, there will always be controversy about who didn't make the cut rather than who did. The loss of Paul Gallen, who has given up representative footy this season leaves a hole in the side, and the omission of James Tamou and Robbie Farrah also reduces the big game experience in the squad.
Overall though, there is a palpable sense of optimism surrounding the Blues camp this year.
Queensland v New South Wales betting
Queensland Maroons Coach Kevin Walters
1. Darius Boyd Held his position despite intense pressure for the spot from legendary figure Billy Slater. The giant Brisbane full-back retains the confidence of coach Walters despite calls for the return of Slater.
2. Corey Oates A knock on effect of Slater's omission is that with Darius Boyd continuing at full-back, Oates retains his place on the wing. The speculation was that if Slater regained the number one jersey, Boyd would be shifted out to the wing at the expense of club teammate Oates.
3. Will Chambers The Storm man was sorely missed by his club during his period of suspension earlier this year. Strong rumours abound that he has agreed a $2m contract extension that will see him remain at the club until 2020 this week - a testament to his value to the Minor Premiers.
4. Justin O'Neill Fortunate to make the line-up after an indifferent start to the campaign that has seen the North Queensland man lose his place in the national side. His selection is all the more surprising as it means that no room can be found for Sharks' flyer Valentine Holmes who has been in superb form.
5. Dane Gagai The soon to be ex-Knight keeps his Origin place and will hope to replicate his form of last year's series the Newcastle winger scored four tries, including a hat-trick in Game 2 at Suncorp Stadium.
6. Anthony Milford One of the most talked about inclusions this year, the Brisbane man has been drafted in at five-eighth as a result of Johnathan Thurston's recent injury concerns. However, should Thurston stage a miraculous recovery this week, Milford will be the man to drop out.
7. Cooper Cronk - The imperious halfback combination with Thurston has played a major role in the Maroons' recent domination of this contest. His upcoming departure from the Storm has made the headlines but has done nothing to distract this ultimate professional from his on-field responsibilities.
8. Dylan Napa Makes his Origin debut in the front row following on from the season-ending injury sustained by Matt Scott. Relishing the chance to start after a 12-month Origin ban imposed for a breach of discipline during an Emerging Origin camp, he has been unashamedly vociferous about his desperation to make the cut this year.
9. Cameron Smith - Captain Marvel continues to defy time as the Melbourne skipper extends his record total of 39 Origin appearances. The most successful Captain in history will be looking to add an 11th series victory of a glittering career to his resume.
10. Nate Myles - The Sea Eagle has been used sparingly by his club this year the veteran prop has only averaged 34 minutes on the field this year. His experience is invaluable though and his appearance next week will see the Manly enforcer surpass Wally Lewis and draw level with Mal Meninga on 32 Origin appearances.
11. Josh Papalii Despite a turbulent year, his outstanding displays for the Raiders have helped seal the man mountain's place in the Maroons' back-row. The sole representative of the Canberra club for either state will make his seventh Origin appearance here.
12. Matt Gillett The Brisbane man has been in sensational form for an impressive Broncos outfit this year. His unrelenting work-rate makes the long-serving forward a coach's dream. Former Maroons boss Mal Meninga rates the back-rower as one of the best in the world right now.
13. Josh McGuire Another resident at Red Hill to have committed his long-term future to the club, McGuire has gone about the difficult task of replacing Corey Parker with aplomb and has been a driving force for a buoyant Brisbane team.
14. Michael Morgan Taken up the creative slack in the heart of the Cowboys' playmaking territory in the absence of Thurston. Unfortunate not to replace his club colleague here.
15. Sam Thaiday One of the veterans of this ageing Queensland camp, the Broncos' lynchpin could reach the magic milestone of 30 Origin appearances if he plays a part in all three games.
16. Aidan Guerra His selection has raised eyebrows in some circles as the Roosters' backrower somewhat controversially at the expense of young gun Coen Hess. The hard-hitting forward has a point to prove as he looks to restore his reputation following a disastrous 2016.
17. Jacob Lillyman - The versatile forward has represented Queensland in the second row but is latterly seen as a front-rower. The chance to join up with his Origin teammates will come as welcome respite from the nightmare environment that the Warriors' season has become. He has made almost 1500 running metres this year, as part of a disjointed Warriors pack. Kevin Walters praised his 2016 Origin contributions and singled him out as one of the stand out performers.
18. Johnathan Thurston - An injury disrupted season has excluded the Cowboys' talisman from much of the league action so far. A telling illustration of his considerable influence has been the Cowboys' struggles in his absence. The future immortal has already declared that 2017 will be his last in representative football as he concentrates all his energy on the Cowboys in his final year in the game.
New South Wales Blues Coach Laurie Daley
1 James Tedesco A one-man show for Tigers this season. It's a tribute to the high regard in which he is held that Jarryd Hayne has been shunted to the centres to accommodate the full-back maestro.
2. Blake Ferguson The incumbent winger for the kangaroos, Ferguson has had a patchy start to this campaign. Off-contract this year, his on-going contract negotiations have promoted an uncertainty over his future with the Tricolours.
3. Josh Dugan Picked despite not playing since he fractured a cheekbone in the Anzac test on May 5. He recently revealed that his decision to turn his back on the Dragons for Cronulla was based on his refusal to be pigeon-holed by one particular position. He will be playing in a more unfamiliar role in the centre for the Blues.
4. Jarryd Hayne His selection has naturally proved to be one of the talking points of this process. The man who turned his back on the game returns to the scene of his greatest triumph in the sport the Blues will be hoping he can recreate possibly his greatest ever performance from the Blues' 2014 series win.
5. Brett Morris One of the most prolific try scorers of the modern era; Morris is looking to put an injury-plagued period behind him. It is now three years after stopping Darius Boyd with a tackle that provides us with one of the most iconic images in Origin history a tackle that left the Canterbury man with a ball-fractured shoulder. Ever since, he has suffered from a horror list of injuries that have curtailed his blossoming career. A welcome return to Origin, he will take his place on the left wing, partnering Hayne down that side.
6. James Maloney His career has continued on an upward trajectory since his switch to the Sharks, culminating in the Premiership triumph last year. Reunited with former halves partner Mitchell Pearce the duo were the masterminds behind the Roosters' 2013 Premiership glory, NSW will benefit hugely from a familiar partnership at the heart of the side.
7. Mitchell Pearce Rightly takes his place in the engine room thanks to a magnificent start to 2017. Leaving his off-field problems of last year behind, the Roosters' playmaker is busy making up for lost time.
8. Aaron Woods After finally ending speculation surrounding his future, the Bulldog-in-waiting can now fully focus on his game for the remainder of the campaign. Surprisingly, he didn't get the nod to inherit the captain's armband from Paul Gallen.
9. Nathan Peats Winning the coveted number nine shirt over Rabbitohs' Robbie Farrah, the perceived wisdom is that Peats is a more dynamic option from dummy half. The Titan finally gets to make his Origin debut after a couple of years of disappointment at club level, facing off against Cameron Smith, it will be a baptism of fire for the Gold Coast man.
10. Andrew Fifita The allure of unpredictability has won out here. Not the safest option, but when the powerhouse is on form, as he has been in recent weeks, there are few forwards in the game who can compare with his devastating running game. He could be the x-factor on which NSW is banking.
11. Josh Jackson The powerful second rower holds onto his place amid fierce competition. Delivering his usual notable contributions despite being part of a struggling Bulldogs' pack, he will get his chance to taste representative action again after shrugging off the disappointment of missing out on the City-Country match previously.
12. Boyd Cordner (c) Bestowed with the honour of captaining the side, Cordner has been excellent for a resurgent Roosters outfit. The decision has proved to be a popular one, and at the age of 24, he can bring longevity to the role.
13. Tyson Frizzell A fierce competitor, the giant lock has played a key role in the rise of the Dragons this year. Could be part of a NSW tactical switch that sees Josh Jackson and Frizzell exchange places; the Blues will target Anthony Milford as part of a game-plan aimed at exposing defensive weaknesses in the debutants game.
14. Jack Bird A Solid year with the Sharks, made the headlines courtesy of his big money move to the Broncos in 2018. It remains to be seen in which position the talented youngster will be deployed next year, in a Broncos line-up chock full of talent.
15.Wade Graham Another Shark to make the NSW list, he will profit from a more conventional call-up process this time around after the farcical events of 2016, when his attendance at a judiciary hearing curtailed his involvement.
16.David Klemmer His match-up with Dylan Napa could be a crucial element to this series. With two series under his belt already, the Bulldogs' hard-man has a slight advantage over his Roosters adversary who is making his debut. Both men represent the future of their states and are tipped to lead their respective sides into the next generation.
17. Jake Trbojevic Following on from his Kangaroos debut, the young Manly prospect's star is on the rise. Significantly, he has displaced Trent Merrin in the squad as looks to forge his career at this level.
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