Parramatta gave it everything they had but it just wasn’t enough, the Eels going down to the Penrith Panthers 8-6 in a heart-stopper in Mackay.
I know the first State of Origin match is still a good month away, but it’s never too early to start contemplating Origin and all its glorious permutations.
Indeed, the Origin selections game is almost as fun as the real thing – really whetting your appetite for the big occasion.
With the less than stellar win-loss record of the Blues in recent years, Laurie Daley and Sterlo have some serious contemplating to do. As usual, nobody will be 100 per cent happy with the team they pick.
The process involves picking a team that provides the perfect balance between the following player groups.
1. In-form incumbents
2. Out-of-form incumbents
3. In-form players who have played Origin in the past
4. Current good-form players who are consistently lighting up the NRL week in and week out, but who haven’t played Origin
So, just for something a little different, let’s look at the 17 NSW Origin incumbents from last year’s final match that the Blues won. We can pit them against a team of current red-hot NRL form players who haven’t played Origin, and ponder two questions.
Firstly, who do you think would win between these two teams? Secondly, which players or possibilities have I left out of the red-hot NRL form team that should be included?
The notable omission from last year’s Game 3 team was Boyd Cordner who didn’t play due to injury, but who most certainly would have been selected.
The 2016 NSW State of Origin Incumbents Team (Game III)
The 2017 NSW State of Origin Rookie Team with Red-Hot NRL Form (Game I)
Jack de Belin
Roarers, who from team A – and who from team B – should go together in the side that will finally beat the Maroons this year?