Queensland side for State of Origin 3 (expert reaction)

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    Queensland's team for State of Origin 2011 game 3 announced

    Queensland's team for State of Origin 2011 game 3 announced (AAP Image/Dean Lewins)

    The Queensland selectors have made just one change to the run-on Maroons side for State of Origin 3, bringing in Justin Hodges to play his first match of the series.

    Looking for the NSW Blues’ team?
    NSW Blues team for Origin game 3 (expert reaction)

    Over the years, much has been said and written about Queensland’s loyalty and consistency in picking players, but for the first time in recent memory, that faith must have come under pressure.

    Queensland were comprehensively beaten in Sydney, and their vaunted forward pack looked old and slow.

    The Maroons have earned the right to not be judged off one poor game, but Origin 3 will give a clearer indication of whether or not Queensland’s size is a strategy that should be consigned to the scrapheap, or remains the best method of dominating a game of football.

    Billy Slater
    The best fullback in the game has been influential in the series, but has not dominated. However, Slater is a big game player, and it doesn’t get much bigger than a State of Origin decider. NSW, you’ve been warned.

    Darius Boyd
    There is a long tradition of Queensland wingers that NSW fans hate, and Boyd has comfortably assumed that mantle. His smugness rubs many people the wrong way, but his talent is unquestioned. He had a quiet game 2, and will be looking to bounce back at Suncorp.

    Greg Inglis
    The big centre is still a long way from his best, and watching footage of him from 3 years ago is akin to watching a completely different player, both in terms of his size and his impact on a game. But he’s a class player and if he returns to form, NSW will be in for a tough time.

    Justin Hodges
    Hodges returns from injury and Queensland finally have their first choice back-line all fit. With his damaging fend and acid tongue, Hodges will be keen to stamp his class on the 2011 Origin series, as injuries have prevented him from playing since 2009.

    Jharal Yow Yeh
    Didn’t see a lot of ball in Origin 2, and he was caught out in defence on a few occasions. There is no doubt that Ricky Stuart and his halves would have taken notice, and as such, he can expect to be targeted in Brisbane.

    Darren Lockyer (c)
    The curtain is about to be drawn on the legend’s career, and this will be Locky’s last Origin match. The stage is set for a dramatic finale – a series decider in front of his home crowd. The Maroons will be extremely motivated to send their skipper out a winner, and it very well may be the man himself who sets up a fitting farewell.

    Johnathan Thurston
    Escaped suspension from the judiciary when an all-NSW panel ruled him innocent of contrary conduct involving his contact with a referee. NSW fans proclaimed the decision to be proof of no bias, but considering how poorly Thurston played in game 2, maybe NSW felt they’re better off JT plays anyway.

    Matt Scott
    Dominated game one. Got dominated in game 2. What happens in game 3 is anyone’s guess, but Scott has been in sublime form all season, and is considered the number one prop in the game, so expect him to improve.

    Cameron Smith
    An absolutely outstanding player. In Sydney, he scored Queensland’s first try, and was easily the Maroons best player. Smith is making a serious claim to be anointed the best rugby league player in the world.

    Petero Civoniceva
    Up until game 2, Petero seemed to have located the fountain of youth. He was playing as well as he ever has, and making his customary brutal hit ups. But at Homebush, Father Time seemed to tap the old warhorse on the shoulder. Was it an aberration, or the beginning of the inevitable decline? Game 3 very well may hold the answer.

    Nate Myles
    Myles was off the pace in game 2 as the Blues forwards dominated the forward battle and ran riot. Like his teammates, Myles is allowed one bad game, but he’ll certainly need to lift his output for the decider.

    Sam Thaiday
    NSW fans think Thaiday is a fake tough guy. The perception is that he picks on smaller players, but goes missing when a player his size or bigger wants a confrontation. He’s also notorious for being the third player in when there is any scuffles. Whether any of that is accurate is debatable, but what is not in question is that Thaiday needs to return to his form from two years ago.

    Ashley Harrison
    Went missing in game 2, but he’ll be a key player in Queensland’s quest to overcome the Blues, because he is the one Maroon forward best equipped to combat the Blues athleticism.

    Cooper Cronk
    Queensland’s x-factor in game 1 had little impact on game 2, despite seeing early game time once again. His role didn’t seem as clearly defined in the Sydney encounter, but he’s all class and NSW need to be wary of influence on the game.

    Ben Hannant
    The Bundy Bear looked slow and flat footed in the second game, and is yet another Queensland forward looking to make amends for a poor showing in Sydney.

    Jacob Lillyman
    Lillyman returns to the side at the expense of the suspended Dave Taylor. The hard-working Warriors forward failed to fire in game 1, and will be looking to make amends in the decider.

    Dane Nielsen
    After a solid game 1, Nielsen struggled in Sydney. However he stays in the squad as cover for the Maroons backs.

    Corey Parker
    Lucky to earn another Maroon jersey after doing little of note in the second Origin encounter.

    Those missing out:
    David Taylor
    The 22 year old misses out, having pleaded guilty to a dangerous throw and will find out tonight how many weeks he’ll miss. NSW won’t mind, as no player wants Taylor running at them.

    Dallas Johnson
    The tackling machine was unlucky not to make a return to Origin football at the expense of Corey Parker. Johnson would have shored-up the Maroons defence, and tends to do all the small intangible things right. Such ‘things’ make all the difference at Origin level, and he could be missed.

    Ryan O
    Ryan O'Connell

    Ryan is an ex-representative basketballer who shot too much, and a (very) medium pace bowler. He's been with The Roar as an expert since February 2011, has written for the Seven Network, and been a regular on ABC radio. Ryan tweets from @RyanOak.

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    The Crowd Says (20)

    • Roar Guru

      June 28th 2011 @ 2:43pm
      Adam said | June 28th 2011 @ 2:43pm | ! Report

      Can’t agree more on Dallas Johnson. He is a machine and has proved himself time and time again and should definately be in the side. Should be a tight game, if Thurston fires that is, he’ll make or break the game IMHO.

    • June 28th 2011 @ 2:51pm
      oikee said | June 28th 2011 @ 2:51pm | ! Report

      They will get the job done and be rewarded for giving Queensland 6 years of pain,,,, “to the blues”.
      I see Ricky has added the red sauce to the pack, thought you said he was only going to play second rowers.

      • Columnist

        June 28th 2011 @ 3:04pm
        Ryan O'Connell said | June 28th 2011 @ 3:04pm | ! Report

        I don’t think Big Red will play, oikee. As I mentioned in my NSW piece, I think the selection of Galloway is an encouragement award, though a thoroughly deserved one.

    • June 28th 2011 @ 2:54pm
      Stormin Red said | June 28th 2011 @ 2:54pm | ! Report

      Never any doubt we would be loyal. Inglis holds onto the ball off the kick in the last two minutes of game II and the match would have been decided by a foot race. The way the Sydney media is beating this up we got thrashed by 30? We were outplayed but still just one dropped ball away from victory.

      Harrison did have a quiet game II, fell just shy of 50 tackles, he didnt do anything pretty but he did his job. Parker looked good despite copping a cheap shot from the menace on his first hit up (looked like a square up for the game 1 fisticuffs?). I would love to see Dallas there but nobody deserved to be dropped for him.

    • Roar Guru

      June 28th 2011 @ 3:16pm
      Hoy said | June 28th 2011 @ 3:16pm | ! Report

      I am concerned about our centres. Inglis had a good game for the bunnies agains the broncs, but he is a long way from how good he was last year, or the year before. Hodges was in first gear all game. I was waiting for his hammy to explode.

    • June 28th 2011 @ 3:21pm
      Rugby Reg said | June 28th 2011 @ 3:21pm | ! Report

      inglis is a shadow of his former all conquering self.
      he is still pretty handy and the rest of the team are not bad as well.
      QLD to win but not by many. The blues defense has been outstanding this series

    • June 28th 2011 @ 3:25pm
      matt said | June 28th 2011 @ 3:25pm | ! Report

      Ryan, did you really just criticize Jonathan Thurston? I can understand journalists wanting to create discussion, but seriously that thought just lacks common sense. NSW will not be better off if JT plays, he is QLDs best player and showed that in game one.

      • Columnist

        June 28th 2011 @ 3:34pm
        Ryan O'Connell said | June 28th 2011 @ 3:34pm | ! Report

        The tongue was firmly in the cheek, Matt!

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