The Blues will win the series tonight

Mary Konstantopoulos Columnist

By Mary Konstantopoulos, Mary Konstantopoulos is a Roar Expert

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34 Have your say

    The only thing stopping the New South Wales Blues from destroying the Queensland Maroons in tonight’s State of Origin fixture is belief.

    If the Blues believe they are the better State of Origin team – and they are – then they will put a margin on the Maroons.

    Game I in Melbourne at the MCG showed that NSW are not only the superior side, but are the only side heading in the right direction.

    More Origin 2:
    » TIM GORE: Baby Blues end the Maroon dynasty
    » The Liebke ratings
    » Nine talking points
    » Match report: Blues take the series
    » WATCH: Video highlights
    » Re-live the match with our live blog

    Dare I say it, but the Blues should complete a State of Origin clean sweep this year. The last time it happened, Sydney hadn’t hosted the Olympic Games yet.

    On paper, NSW is better on every line. For the first time in a decade they have the more talented side, particularly when you look at the halves.

    But we all know that’s not how State of Origin matches are decided.

    It’s a cliche, but once that whistle is blown to start the match, talent can go out the window.

    Greg Inglis

    State of Origin (Photo by Michael Dodge/Getty Images)

    We all know Queenslanders are proud and they have form at bouncing back.

    Who could forget last year when the Blues went up to Suncorp Stadium and upset the apple cart.

    Not only did they win, but they destroyed the home side, winning 28-4.

    It was unthinkable that New South Wales would lose the second match, in Sydney. But it happened.

    Led by veterans Cameron Smith, Johnathan Thurston and Cooper Cronk, the Maroons made a spirited comeback after being down 16-6 at half-time to win, 18-16.

    I knew that once the Blues lost that game, that Game III would be won by the Maroons. And I was right – by the time the third game rolled around, the Blues had lost belief.

    This year, there’s no Smith, Thurston or Cronk. Just Greg Inglis and an ageing Billy Slater with a dodgy hamstring.

    If the Blues don’t have belief now, they never will.

    Tonight is not only the chance to win a series, but to start a new era. It’s no secret that Queensland have won 11 of the past 12 Origin series, but older Blues fans will still remember a time when NSW was the superior state.

    From 1992 to 2005, Queensland only won three series. The Blues won ten and two were drawn.

    This current crop of NSW players has ‘era’ written all over them.

    The likes of Nathan Cleary, James Tedesco, Tom Trbojevic, Latrell Mitchell, Josh Addo-Carr and Jack De Belin should be around for many years to come. This is a nucleus that Brad Fittler can build a dynasty on.

    James Tedesco

    Are NSW set for a dominant future? (AAP Image/Dave Hunt)

    Skipper Boyd Cordner still has at least three or four good years left in him, while Damien Cook proved a revelation in Game I.

    The Blues have more depth than the Maroons and it was even more pronounced in Game I when Kevin Walters decided not to pick Kayln Ponga because of fears that he was too young.

    Looking back on that game in Melbourne, it was clearly dominated by NSW. However, it must be said Queensland still had opportunities to win.

    The Maroons led 12-8 when Dane Gagai scored in the 43rd minute. The momentum had shifted in their favour after the Blues dominated most of the first half.

    But one lineball decision that went in the Blues’ favour shifted the game. NSW made the most of its opportunity deep into Queensland territory through Latrell Mitchell, which was backed up two minutes later when Tom Trbojevic crossed the stripe.

    All of a sudden, doubts were quashed and the belief was back.

    If Brad Fittler and his men keep that belief rolling into Game II tonight, there’s no reason why the Blues won’t win and win comfortably.

    Inspired by Maddie Studdon and the NSW Blues women’s win on Friday night and 80,000 spectators at ANZ Stadium, it should be a historic weekend for New South Wales.

    For the first time, the Blues will hold the men’s and women’s State of Origin shields.

    Credit must be given to the NRL for a brilliant weekend of rugby league. The decision to give club games a spell and place representative football in prime time has paid dividends.

    The Pacific Tests were a wonderful celebration and proved that crowds still get out to watch footy when they want to.

    Tonight’s game will be a ratings winner and also a winner for the Blues. I’m tipping NSW 32-10 and the Blues will go on to claim the series 3-0.

    Mary Konstantopoulos
    Mary Konstantopoulos

    Mary Konstantopoulos is a lawyer, sports advocate and proud owner and founder of the Ladies Who empire, including Ladies who League, Ladies who Legspin, Ladies who Lineout and Ladies who Leap. You can find her podcast on iTunes and find her on Twitter @mary__kaye and @ladieswholeague.

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    The Crowd Says (34)

    • June 24th 2018 @ 7:35am
      nopuritan said | June 24th 2018 @ 7:35am | ! Report

      Can the Blues still win if the penalty count from Game One is the same…but reversed?
      I don’t think so.
      Can the Blues still win if Maloney gets pinged for all his forward passes?
      I don’t think so.
      Can the Blues still win if a loss would effect Channel 9’s ratings and the NRL’s income?
      Of course they can!

      • June 24th 2018 @ 8:13am
        Paul said | June 24th 2018 @ 8:13am | ! Report

        and Qld can win when their only attacking moments in 80 minutes of football came from a speculator kick and an intercept?

        The Mraoons had enough ball to win three SOOs, especially in the second half, regardless of the penalty count. They weren’t good enough then and they won’t be good enough tonight.

        • June 24th 2018 @ 8:29am
          nopuritan said | June 24th 2018 @ 8:29am | ! Report

          Paul when you take into account as well the less then 10 metres NSW need to get back for half the game it get’s pretty hard to win.

          • June 24th 2018 @ 8:36am
            twodogs said | June 24th 2018 @ 8:36am | ! Report

            Don’t care who wins. Providing the match is a showstopper and Inglis is kept onside in defence ie- 10 metres as
            opposed to 5. 😁
            Aw alright, QLD are on old legs. Blues by 20+.

            • June 24th 2018 @ 9:47am
              nopuritan said | June 24th 2018 @ 9:47am | ! Report

              Not likely old son.
              Adolph FIttler can’t coach! His yoga techings won’t cut the mustard.
              In a fair and just world Qld should win this game and then the series.

              • Roar Guru

                June 24th 2018 @ 12:44pm
                Renegade said | June 24th 2018 @ 12:44pm | ! Report

                The funny thing is… I think you actually believe what you are writing!!

      • June 24th 2018 @ 8:24am
        Forty Twenty said | June 24th 2018 @ 8:24am | ! Report

        How would a Blues loss effect channel 9’s ratings and the NRL’s income? Up or down?

        • Roar Guru

          June 24th 2018 @ 10:34am
          Nat said | June 24th 2018 @ 10:34am | ! Report

          You would have to think if they were going to lose out, they would have by now. I am a little surprised ANZ hasn’t sold out though.

          • Roar Guru

            June 24th 2018 @ 2:48pm
            Edward L'Orange said | June 24th 2018 @ 2:48pm | ! Report

            It’s a Sunday night and the Rugby was last night. It’ll still be pretty packed though, you’d think.

            • June 24th 2018 @ 5:44pm
              nopuritan said | June 24th 2018 @ 5:44pm | ! Report

              The punters are believing the old media hype new coach new dynasty.
              Anyone else heard it all before?

    • June 24th 2018 @ 8:30am
      nopuritan said | June 24th 2018 @ 8:30am | ! Report

      It would effect both downwards in the NSW market. When NSW are losing people in NSW lose nterest which equates to less viewers and less bums on seats

      • Roar Guru

        June 24th 2018 @ 11:10am
        eagleJack said | June 24th 2018 @ 11:10am | ! Report

        Except the exact opposite is true. NSW have lost 11 of the past 12 series yet the crowd numbers are still huge, and the ratings continually increasing. Kinda puts a large hole in your theory.

        • Roar Guru

          June 24th 2018 @ 2:49pm
          Edward L'Orange said | June 24th 2018 @ 2:49pm | ! Report

          He’s confusing the NSW fans for Queenslanders.

    • June 24th 2018 @ 9:12am
      BrainsTrust said | June 24th 2018 @ 9:12am | ! Report

      NSw were more dominant last year in the first match and the first half of the second match.
      NSw would be better off with QLD having the full set of over the hill legends .
      They just started their celebrations last year before the second match so they ran out of juice.
      If they stay off the juice this time it will be a different outcome.

    • June 24th 2018 @ 9:15am
      Forty Twenty said | June 24th 2018 @ 9:15am | ! Report

      If anyone’s been manipulating the game to engineer NSW wins then they’ve been doing a terrible job.

      Have a look at the penalties and sin bins in game two last year against the toads which didn’t happen . They couldn’t of done more to take kick chasers out of action but no penalty. It’s a wonder they let Turbo any where near the bomb in game one this year.

      • June 24th 2018 @ 9:43am
        nopuritan said | June 24th 2018 @ 9:43am | ! Report

        Game One 2018
        Queensland penalised 4 times, NSW penalised once.
        and that’s the difference between a win and a loss.

        • June 24th 2018 @ 10:13am
          Forty Twenty said | June 24th 2018 @ 10:13am | ! Report

          Chambers should have been sent off for a knee ( again) to an opponent .

      • June 24th 2018 @ 9:58am
        nopuritan said | June 24th 2018 @ 9:58am | ! Report

        brains trust, sorry i did respond to your comment earlier but it got censored because i referred to Fittler by his original nickname. you know the one he had before TV anointed him with the sanitized “Freddy”.
        Next thing you know the neophytic thought police will have us believing that Ricky Stuart’s nickname has always been “Sticky”

        • June 24th 2018 @ 10:14am
          nopuritan said | June 24th 2018 @ 10:14am | ! Report

          it’s magic!
          it disappears…and then it

          • June 24th 2018 @ 10:31am
            3 recalcitrant monkeys said | June 24th 2018 @ 10:31am | ! Report

            Mine don’t get a come back . But I’m happy if they can last an hour

            • June 24th 2018 @ 5:46pm
              nopuritan said | June 24th 2018 @ 5:46pm | ! Report

              i’m hearing ya 3-recalcitrant monkeys

    • June 24th 2018 @ 9:35am
      expert C said | June 24th 2018 @ 9:35am | ! Report

      The NSW Waratahs will never beat the Brisbane Lions at the State of Origin at Ballymore tonight!

      I’m calling the Lions by 3 home runs!

    • Roar Rookie

      June 24th 2018 @ 10:19am
      parkhacker said | June 24th 2018 @ 10:19am | ! Report

      Think this game will be very similar to game 1.Sides will close at half time with Blues in front by 5 points.We will dominate 2nd half and win by 10-15 points.Tedesco,Maloney and Cleary will have terrific games after our forwards dominate down the middle.Incisive runs by Cordner,Klemmer and Fizell will set the pace of our domination.Tedesco to score first try and 2 more he will be man of the match.Go the Blues oi oi oi

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