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Queensland Vs. New South Wales
2014 NRL State of Origin, 29 May, 2014
|Suncorp Stadium, QLD|
|New South Wales 12 defeated Queensland 8|
|Queensland||New South Wales|
|Referee: Hayne, S|
|Touch judges: Turner, R & Beashel, N|
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Queensland‘s quest for a ninth straight Origin series victory begins tonight when they host New South Wales in the first game of the 2014 State of Origin series.
Join us for live scores and commentary from 7:55pm AEST, with kickoff expected at 8:16pm AEST.
There are plenty of new faces in NSW’s Origin squad, but thankfully most of the players selected are in great form and are more than capable of taking the game to Queensland tonight.
Josh Reynolds and Trent Hodkinson have been rightfully rewarded for their superb start to the season for the Bulldogs, and will be tasked with guiding NSW around the park against a superb and experienced Queensland outfit.
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Jarryd Hayne’s inclusion at fullback is also a big positive for NSW. The Eels custodian has often thrived at Origin level and he represents the X-factor in attack for the Blues. He has been in superb form at the Eels, reminiscent of his form in 2009.
If he fires, NSW’s chances of securing a win increase significantly.
Like all Origin matches however, the key to victory lies in the battle upfront. The Maroons have often bullied NSW into submission at Lang Park and invariably dominate territory and possession as a result. The forward battle will be similarly decisive tonight.
Last season, the Blues were well beaten by the Maroons after a poor opening 20 minutes which saw Queensland’s forwards make metres at will.
If the Maroons win the early arm wrestle, and superstars Greg Inglis, Cameron Smith, Johnathan Thurston and Cooper Cronk are given space and time in attack, they will blow this game wide open. It’s happened before at this very ground and could happen again.
The Blues also have to make sure they keep errors to an absolute minimum. They must cherish possession and play the percentages well if they are to keep pace with the Maroons.
The first try is crucial in an Origin match and if the Blues can score it, they may just develop the confidence and belief needed to secure a memorable victory.
Another fast start from the Maroons, however, will most likely see them dominate tonight’s contest.
While this Blues team certainly has what it takes to compete well, the Maroons at home remain difficult to tip against.
But Origin matches are usually tight contests, so it’s unlikely there will be much in it. Whoever stands up in the crucial moment will determine which way this game goes.
Queensland by 4