Queensland Maroons team for 2014 State of Origin Game 1: Expert reaction

Chris Chard Columnist

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    Well it’s that time of year again. After clinching a record eighth successive State of Origin series victory last year, consistency will again be the key for Queensland.

    Coach Mal Meninga has released a squad for Game 1 that remains relatively unchanged from last season.

    Here’s how the team will line-up in Brisbane.

    More Origin Coverage:
    >> NSW Blues team for Origin 1 – Expert reaction
    >> Can NSW win with this team?
    >> Full State of Origin Teams and news

    1. Billy Slater
    Despite calls this season for Slater to make way at the back for Greg Inglis, a recent purple patch for the Storm fullback has cemented Billy the Kid’s stay in the number one jersey and once more he will be one to watch for the Blues.

    But, has his likely NSW opposite Jarry Hayne overtaken him in the excitement stakes?

    2. Darius Boyd
    In a year that has seen as many highlights as well spoken and lucid press conferences, Boyd is clearly in the Maroons side on past performances.

    Which would generally be a bit of a worry, save for the fact that those performances were bloody superb.

    3. Greg Inglis
    While he may spend more time at fullback in the NRL, Greg Inglis, aka ‘the Bowraville Bomber’, seems to always save his best for Origin matches.

    Given his form for the Bunnies this year, NSW coach Laurie Daley will be looking to find some form of footy kryptonite ASAP.

    4. Justin Hodges
    He fights, he fights and fights and fights and fights.

    Generally as well-liked by fans as the price of stadium hotdogs, Maroons fans can rest easy knowing that Hodges is equally loathed by the blokes in blue trying to defend him as he has made an art form of breaking the first tackle.

    5. Brent Tate
    After a brief representative retirement, Tate has decided to go all John Farnham on us and throw himself chin first into another gruelling Origin campaign.

    Whatever he’ll give away to the NSW flankmen in youth and knee cartilage, he’s sure to make up for with experience, guile and scary faces at the camera.

    6. Johnathan Thurston
    The man they call JT shows no sign of slowing down, and much like his musical namesake looks set to continue to rock some bodies and have Blues fans crying a river. Almost unstoppable on his day.

    7. Cooper Cronk
    Rugby league’s thinking man, Melbourne’s slow start to the year had many pundits thinking that Queensland’s Mr Clutch may have to make way for one certain young Manly upstart.

    But, with an impressive track record and his sinews now all fully aligned, Cronk will again find himself a vital cog in the Maroons scum-base partnership…and trivia team!

    8. Matt Scott
    Chances are if you asked most rugby league fans to draw your archetypal front rower it would look something like North Queensland’s fridge on legs.

    Scott has been huge for the Cowboys in recent weeks and will likely be the man taking the first hit-up every set. A very underrated figure in Queensland’s winning streak.

    9. Cameron Smith
    The Maroons main man. The king toad. The big banana bender.

    With his superb defence, crafty kicking game and unrivalled ability to know when to run from dummy half, rumour has it that Smith has already had a number of sculptors take his measurement in preparation for his statue outside Lang Park in retirement.

    10. Nate Myles
    Myles continues to put in the hard yards every week at the Gold Coast and has climbed the staircase to be a must for Mal come Origin time. Will look to reignite his feud with Blues boss Paul Gallen.

    11. Chris McQueen
    The Rabbitohs wild man’s game isn’t always pretty, but he will be expected to sure up the Maroons defence particularly as the game enters its frantic latter stages.

    Also has great versatility and the ability to slot in out wide if needed.

    12. Matt Gillett
    With the injury to clubmate Sam Thaiday, Gillett will be expected to take over his roll of terrorising the Blues out wide, and should benefit from having a little less responsibility in the all-star Maroons pack.

    13. Corey Parker
    The silver stallion shows no signs of slowing down or being put out to pasture, as he continues his transition from Mr Club consistency to rep royalty.

    Mal has even promised that he might give him a break at some stage during the game.

    14. Daly Cherry-Evans
    A man who would have likely knocked up a dozen Origin games by now had he been born South of the Tweed, DCE will once again play a utility role from the bench and look to remind the Blues that things may be get worse before they get better.

    15. Ben Te’o
    Another of South Sydney’s angry men, Te’o is widely regarded for his punishing defence and will play an important role in making sure that the Maroons’ classy spine isn’t man-handled by the Blues bruiser boys.

    16. Josh Papalli
    Every team needs a little bit of fire from the bench, and despite playing in a struggling Raiders outfit, Papalli’s ability to make runners think twice sees him again make his way onto the Maroons bench.

    17. Aidan Guerra
    Having proved himself in a premiership winning Roosters side and with the Italians at last year’s World Cup, the versatile Guerra makes his Origin debut in a move that has many of those in the know cheering “Bellissimo!”

    18. Will Chambers
    The slippery Storm centre caps a remarkable comeback to the code with a call-up to the squad. He might not do much more than warm the pine, but this selection points to a succession plan.

    19. Jake Friend
    Aggressive Roosters vice-captain Friend has been one of the form hookers of the competition this year, and is rewarded with a spot in camp.

    Can’t get enough Origin? Roarers also picked their own Origin teams.
    The Roar’s New South Wales Blues team for Game 1
    The Roar’s Queensland Maroons team for Game 1

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    The Crowd Says (123)

    • May 19th 2014 @ 6:53pm
      Jack said | May 19th 2014 @ 6:53pm | ! Report

      I’m a Queenslander, but for once I’m actually hoping for a NSW win. We’ve been dominant enough and whilst I’d usually still never want them to win, I would rather we lost just to deny Ray Hadley anything to attack Laurie Daley over.

      • Roar Guru

        May 19th 2014 @ 7:08pm
        Judge Holden said | May 19th 2014 @ 7:08pm | ! Report

        I hope we never stop winning. I despise Hadley though.

        • May 20th 2014 @ 11:35am
          anthony said | May 20th 2014 @ 11:35am | ! Report

          Mate nate myles is the worlds biggest grub playing for the worst team QLD
          The bulldogs are the best

      • May 19th 2014 @ 7:18pm
        BigHeads said | May 19th 2014 @ 7:18pm | ! Report

        You don’t speak for all of us, hope it never ends.

      • May 19th 2014 @ 7:31pm
        Dan said | May 19th 2014 @ 7:31pm | ! Report

        Wow that’s impressive. I also think Hadley is one of the lowest and most vile pieces of crap in this country, but I wouldn’t have thought that would ever unite NSW and Qld in League haha.

        • May 20th 2014 @ 8:00pm
          Paul Callings said | May 20th 2014 @ 8:00pm | ! Report

          Dan, Ray Hadley recently brought his team of jocks and other footy personalities to the bush for a charity day. I hope his ex-wife realises behind the wind and distant fibro background is still a great bloke and great supporter of rugby league in Australia. When you go through a separation and loss you are allowed to slip and make a mistake, big or small. I don’t know the guy personally however he is a lover of the game and deserves some slack at present. If he did the wrong thing I am sure he will admit to it when he has a clear head and some reflection. Let’s focus the greatest 6 weeks in RL on tbe forrest and not the trees.

          • May 20th 2014 @ 8:20pm
            Jackson Henry said | May 20th 2014 @ 8:20pm | ! Report

            I disagree in the strongest possible terms that this bloke needs to be cut some slack – divorce, seperation or not. This individual has one of the strongest track records for being a bully.

            Andrew Voss? DVOs? Repeated intimidation of junior staff at his own workplace?

            A decent bloke simply doesn’t do the things he’s done. Tihs behaviour of his existed well before his recent unfortunate marital situation, and if perception is anything to go by (and that’s all we can go by), was most likely the cause of it.

            For that he needs to be accountable. And some of what we’re reading here is that very accountability.

            And then there’s the fact that he’s inflicting himself on all RL fans every Friday night because Gyngell and the NRL are too scared to put him offside…mostly likely because he knows where the bodies are buried. What a joke.

          • May 21st 2014 @ 4:06pm
            mushi said | May 21st 2014 @ 4:06pm | ! Report

            why would eh admit to it he hasn’t with regards to workplace bullying?

      • May 19th 2014 @ 8:52pm
        WQ said | May 19th 2014 @ 8:52pm | ! Report

        Your not a real Queenslander, because no real Queenslander would ever say that regardless!

      • May 19th 2014 @ 9:12pm
        Jax said | May 19th 2014 @ 9:12pm | ! Report

        No real Queenslander would ever say that.

        • May 19th 2014 @ 9:45pm
          Jack said | May 19th 2014 @ 9:45pm | ! Report

          You two are severely underestimating the hatred I feel for Hadley. We all hate NSW, but my hate for Hadley runs FAR deeper and has far more real causes.

          • May 20th 2014 @ 8:34am
            Jackson Henry said | May 20th 2014 @ 8:34am | ! Report

            Don’t worry mate, we hate him too, obviously.

            Andrew Webster from the SMH said the other day that Hadley’s position in the commentary box is part of a succession plan for when Ray Warren retires.

            I think the Nine’s rating would dive by a least half. This bloke is truly is an oxygen thief of the highest order.

    • May 19th 2014 @ 6:56pm
      Hugh said | May 19th 2014 @ 6:56pm | ! Report

      *scrum-base partnership

    • May 19th 2014 @ 6:57pm
      Johnno said | May 19th 2014 @ 6:57pm | ! Report

      No Milford,Big Dave Taylor what a disgrace. Dave Taylor is big, and thick as 2 bricks chuck em in.
      Ben Hannant should get a run too. DCE for Cronk too, c’mon Mal. Sandow’s in fine form.
      Tiquri had a good game for Fiji and is big and gained some weight and bulk, chuck him in.
      Inglis to full back drop Billy the kid.
      One of the Sims lads needs a gallop and a run.

      • May 19th 2014 @ 7:00pm
        Renegade said | May 19th 2014 @ 7:00pm | ! Report

        If you were a QLD selector and made those changes…. I would throw my mortgage on NSW.

        • May 20th 2014 @ 1:37pm
          Matt said | May 20th 2014 @ 1:37pm | ! Report

          Haha gold.

          Milford, come on. He was a passenger in the under 21 SOO! He can’t cut it with the big boys yet.

      • May 19th 2014 @ 7:03pm
        Dallas said | May 19th 2014 @ 7:03pm | ! Report

        Johnno, you are dead to me.

        • Roar Guru

          May 19th 2014 @ 7:07pm
          Judge Holden said | May 19th 2014 @ 7:07pm | ! Report

          Tuqiri is playing park football, there’s no room for Milford. Big Dave had his chances but didn’t impress. Maybe they’d get a run in the B Team. Strange selections indeed Johnno.

          • May 19th 2014 @ 7:13pm
            Johnno said | May 19th 2014 @ 7:13pm | ! Report

            Have you seen Dave Taylor’s stat this year Judge Holden, his ripping it up at the Titans.

            • Roar Guru

              May 19th 2014 @ 7:19pm
              Judge Holden said | May 19th 2014 @ 7:19pm | ! Report

              He is playing well, no doubt. I watched that game. Ran well over 100m in a depleted side, at centre no less. But what I’m saying is that when he has been chosen on form in the past he didn’t cement his spot. Last time he played for Queensland he made a few bad errors and looked pedestrian in attack. I will admit that I would have taken either Big Dave or Jacob Lillyman over McQueen. If Dave continues to play well I think he’ll come onto the bench later during the series.

              • May 19th 2014 @ 7:20pm
                Johnno said | May 19th 2014 @ 7:20pm | ! Report

                Where’s the 2nd chances, suppose you wouldn’t pick Idris either then, who’s ripping it up at the Panthers.

          • May 19th 2014 @ 8:00pm
            Bluebag said | May 19th 2014 @ 8:00pm | ! Report

            Park football? There over 2,000 at the Newtown v Norths game at Henson two weeks ago. If the two clubs were going better you could probably double that… .you don’t get that sort of crowd or experience at park football! Get to Henson if you want fair dinkum footy

            • Roar Guru

              May 19th 2014 @ 8:14pm
              Judge Holden said | May 19th 2014 @ 8:14pm | ! Report

              Well said Bluebag. Reserve grade is the more appropriate term.

        • May 19th 2014 @ 7:19pm
          Johnno said | May 19th 2014 @ 7:19pm | ! Report

          You no fan of Milford, Dallas or DCE or Big Dave.

          • May 19th 2014 @ 7:22pm
            Dallas said | May 19th 2014 @ 7:22pm | ! Report

            Milford is a good player, but there is no room for him in the team, DCE will have to wait his turn just like cronk did for Lockyer. Dave Taylor has been playing well but there’s no room for him either. Papali, Teo and guerra deserve there spots.

            • Roar Guru

              May 19th 2014 @ 7:34pm
              Judge Holden said | May 19th 2014 @ 7:34pm | ! Report

              Dallas speaks the truth. Queensland are loyal to their incumbents.

              • May 20th 2014 @ 2:07pm
                Mals said | May 20th 2014 @ 2:07pm | ! Report

                It’s easy to be loyal when the team is winning series after series after series.

      • May 19th 2014 @ 7:27pm
        Jake said | May 19th 2014 @ 7:27pm | ! Report

        Only 1 Sims is legible for QLD Johnno, and not the good one.

        • May 19th 2014 @ 7:29pm
          Dallas said | May 19th 2014 @ 7:29pm | ! Report

          Korbin is a lot younger, he will come good in time.

          • May 19th 2014 @ 7:44pm
            Jake said | May 19th 2014 @ 7:44pm | ! Report

            Won’t improve enough for this year mate.

            • May 19th 2014 @ 7:57pm
              Dallas said | May 19th 2014 @ 7:57pm | ! Report

              Obviously, he is a fringe first grader at the moment.

      • May 19th 2014 @ 7:37pm
        Clark said | May 19th 2014 @ 7:37pm | ! Report

        Why change such a dominant team?

      • Columnist

        May 19th 2014 @ 8:58pm
        Chris Chard said | May 19th 2014 @ 8:58pm | ! Report

        Think Tuquiri is actually going round for NSW this year…residents i.e.

      • May 20th 2014 @ 3:11pm
        WoobliesFan said | May 20th 2014 @ 3:11pm | ! Report

        Dave Taylor? You’re kidding. Risking a game on a loose cannon like that is a risk not worth taking (btw, is Dave Taylor the biggest under-achiever in the history of the game?).

        Tiquiri?….christ, he should have given it away years ago. What a dumb suggestion.

        As for that QLD poster who said he wanted a NSW win -the sin bin for you buddy, you’re a disgrace…a true QLDer would never think like that. I hate the blues – hate them…and you should too. FYI, we owe them at least another 2-3 decades of payback before I would even think about feeling sorry for them.

        Btw, we need to win another series just so we can hear Laurie Daley utter that famous line about this QLD team again —> “they’re not great yet”….hehehe. So tell us Lozza, what is – 3 wins on a row?…..MWaahahahahaha.

        PS…..I wonder who they’ll put in the coach’s jumper next year —> Benny Elias, Fitler?….lol. This is a 8-yr comedy act if I’ve ever seen one.

    • Roar Guru

      May 19th 2014 @ 7:05pm
      Judge Holden said | May 19th 2014 @ 7:05pm | ! Report

      No surprises in the team really, although I would have picked Lillyman over McQueen based on form but Big Mal is loyal. And I think Chris intended to write “scum-based” partnership, we’re all scum in Queensland if you’ll believe what the Telegraph says. Good player writeup though, Taters is an angry customer. Forget performance enhancing drugs, all the man needs is his performance enhancing rage. Looking forward to the routing of the Blues at Brisbane.

    • May 19th 2014 @ 7:09pm
      Porgera PNG said | May 19th 2014 @ 7:09pm | ! Report

      its a very good line up but matt gillet can be dropped to the bench and Ben te’o can be replace him at starting line up.

      • May 19th 2014 @ 10:35pm
        Kid said | May 19th 2014 @ 10:35pm | ! Report

        I think it will happen as a late change. Mal likes to start game 1 with a big pack.

      • May 19th 2014 @ 11:23pm
        Jake said | May 19th 2014 @ 11:23pm | ! Report

        No difference in size between Teo & Gillett. Both 6″2 & 105kgs.

        • May 20th 2014 @ 8:38am
          Jackson Henry said | May 20th 2014 @ 8:38am | ! Report

          Big difference in defensive capability though. Although, ganted, Gillett’s vastly imrpoved this year. Doesn’t have Teo’s runs on the board though.

      • May 20th 2014 @ 9:30pm
        Scott Buchanan said | May 20th 2014 @ 9:30pm | ! Report

        Are you serious????? Gillett has been one of the Broncos best this year. Deserves the starting team call-up.

    • May 19th 2014 @ 7:14pm
      TGGOA said | May 19th 2014 @ 7:14pm | ! Report

      Chris McQueen though.

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