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The Roar’s State of Origin expert tips and predictions: Queensland Maroons vs NSW Blues, Game 2, 2021

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23rd June, 2021
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The NRL goes on pause for the weekend as State of Origin hits Sunday night once again, combined with a monstrous women’s Origin clash on Friday. Here to let you know who’s winning both of those games is The Roar’s expert tipping panel.

More Origin 2
» REPORT: Blues stifle Maroons to claim series
» TALKING POINTS: Where do Queensland go from here?
» Origin 2, as it happened: Play-by-play commentary
» VIDEO: Latrell’s amazing intercept try
» VIDEO: Trbojevic’s sensational try-saver on Coates

This week, we will be tipping women’s Origin, and the usual fare for men’s Origin, including margin, first try-scorer and man of the match.

Women’s Origin is once again coming from the Sunshine Coast, with Queensland looking to do similar to last year, although maybe with a little more comfort than the six-point margin they won by.

The key talking point would appear to be Ali Brigginshaw playing lock, to the point it makes very little sense.

Despite that, Queensland are favourites to take out the game, although you could say with a fair degree of certainty there won’t be much in it.

Back on the men’s series, and the Blues blew their opposition off the park in Game 1, played in Townsville.

While a victory for the men in blue wasn’t completely unexpected, the margin of victory certainly was. Queensland simply couldn’t hold a candle to the visitors in any element of the contest.

Even though the Maroons are back at their spiritual home in Brisbane for Game 2, they still come into the game as outsiders. While New South Wales are settled, as you’d expect from a squad who just ran up 50, the Maroons have opted to bring in Reece Walsh, Andrew McCullough, Ben Hunt and Francis Molo.


The changes will need to work perfectly if they have a shot at dethroning the Blues, who ran like a well-oiled machine in the Game 1 beatdown.

Be sure to get your tips in on the form below to be part of The Crowd for tipping both women’s Origin, and the second match in the men’s series.

The way we will do this is put Crowd results up for women’s Origin at 6pm on Friday evening, and men’s Origin will then be added to the table at the bottom of the article at 6pm on Sunday evening.

Given his struggles in our NRL tipping competition (and getting two in Game 1), AJ will lead us away.

AJ Mithen

Women’s Origin tip: New South Wales
Men’s Game 2 tip: New South Wales by 28

I’ve been on Queensland for upset wins in the last few years but reality has caught up with them, in both the men’s and women’s game.

On Friday the newly christened ‘Sky Blues’ will do the business over a Queensland side that’s relatively the same, but they do have Ali Brigginshaw at lock. I reckon Jess Sergis will have a field day in the centres with room to move, and the Sky Blues’ forwards are slightly more on track than Queensland’s, who are hoping for Tallisha Harden to be fit and available. Destiny Brill plays her first Origin for the Maroons in the no. 9 and there’s a lot riding on her game as well.


I’m really keen on Friday’s game. Should be a great way to roll into a nice relaxing weekend!

In the men’s, I just can’t see where the Maroons will turn things around on Sunday night. For all the talk of ‘bruises’ and a smashup, Queensland just aren’t good enough defensively and I’m not convinced Paul Green can get them in the true Queensland Origin mindset of us against the world and do anything, anything to win.

Fittler’s mob did as they pleased in game one and they’ll do as they please in Game 2 if they don’t get sucked in to a brawl that Queensland are dying for. The Maroons naming Reece Walsh was a gutsy move and I’m all for gutsy moves, but the kid and his onfield nous are going to be targeted by Cleary and Luai and he’s going to have a workload like he’s never had before.

Nathan Cleary and Jarome Luai

Jarome Luai and Nathan Cleary. (Photo by Ian Hitchcock/Getty Images)

I really hope he can stand up to it. More importantly, if Walsh can’t stand up to it, I hope we all lay off the belting and ‘Origin bust’ talk. We said that about Justin Hodges too, remember.

Nathan Cleary to be man of the match unless Tommy Turbo scores four. Again there’s no real reason for the pick other than channel nine will give it to him barring another incredible Turbo outing.

First try-scorer: Reece Walsh
Man of the match: Nathan Cleary

Mary Konstantopoulos


Women’s Origin tip: New South Wales
Men’s Game 2 tip: New South Wales by 12

The NSW women will win their State of Origin clash against the Queensland women on Friday night. The Blues women have several in form players in their team, most notable Maddie Studdon and Corban Baxter who have formed a dynamic combination playing for the Sharks in the Harvey Norman Women’s Premiership.

Jessica Sergis also demonstrated her power and speed against Country in the recent City v Country fixture and I am predicting that she will score at least two tries.

The NSW men will wind up the series this Sunday night in Game II. The key for NSW will be to ensure that the backline continues to receive plenty of ball.

With relatively few changes since Origin I, the Blues have a much stronger side and should be able to take advantage of Reece Walsh, who has big shoes to fill coming in for the Maroons in Game II.


Despite the return of some players for the Maroons including Josh Papalii, I am expecting the Blues to win by at least 12 points, with Tom Trbojevic to score the first try and also be named Man of the Match

First try-scorer: Tom Trbojevic
Man of the match: Tom Trbojevic

The Barry

Women’s Origin tip: Queensland
Men’s Game 2 tip: New South Wales by 7

The Maroons are banking on a secret weapon for Origin 2. No, it’s not seven-game veteran Reece Walsh, but Queensland Premier Anna Palaszczuk armed with COVID restrictions and the Blues team list. She’s already put a red line through most of the Souths and Roosters players and is trying to work out whether Mount Druitt is part of Inner West council.

New South Wales couldn’t have won more comprehensively in Game 1. They dominated Queensland in every aspect of the game and clocked up 50 points. Logically, NSW are red hot favourites again, but Queenslanders aren’t big on logic, particularly when it comes to Origin.

Josh Papalii comes into the side and could be the key man for the Maroons. After a frustrating season with the Raiders, he’ll be looking to inspire the Queensland pack. It’ll be interesting to see what happens if Teddy or Turbo try and take a couple of hit-ups through the middle early on Sunday.

Any hope for Queensland has to start in the middle of the park. If they can win the middle Nathan Cleary and Jerome Luai will face the rare challenge of having to play off the back foot.


Does Brad Fittler try to repeat the Game 1 game plan or does he bring out something new? Jake Trbojevic is the only out and while that leads to a different looking forward pack, Jurbo only played 29 minutes due to Cleary going off to get stitches, so his loss should be easily covered.

I’m tipping the Blues but I don’t think it will be the cakewalk a lot are predicting. The more I feel like writing Queensland off, the more of feel like an ambush is on the way.

First try-scorer: Josh Addo-Carr
Man of the match: Nathan Cleary

Josh Papalii of the Maroons is tackled

Josh Papalii and The Mullet will be back in Game 2. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

Scott Pryde

Women’s Origin tip: New South Wales
Men’s Game 2 tip: New South Wales by 10

Starting with women’s Origin, and I just can’t get over Ali Brigginshaw being named to play lock. I get lock is used like an extra half, but there are still differences, and I get the feeling the Sky Blues’ forwards could run over the top of their counterparts in the first 20 minutes.

With their experience and talent, especially with an in-form Jess Sergis, that sort of lead is one they won’t give back.

While the women’s game will be close, the men’s game is widely expected to be another bloodbath after Game 1’s meltdown.

But pinning Queensland to the canvas like that twice in a row seems fanciful at best. This is a state who, for years, have never just laid down and accepted what was coming to them.

In saying all of that, I don’t think they have the talent to win Game 2. What Reece Walsh provides will be intriguing to say the least, as will the impact of Josh Papalii, but there is just too much of a gap between the two sides, not aided by the loss of Harry Grant. Defensively, Andrew McCullough might assist things, but given the defensive deficiencies were on the edges for Queensland, not by much.

The Blues bench was where Game 1 was really won though, and with Payne Haas again to play from the pine, ti will take another enormous effort from Moeaki Foutaika, and a bit more luck regarding the health of Christian Welch, for the Maroons to stay in the contest.

First try-scorer: Brian To’o
Man of the match: James Tedesco

James Tedesco

James Tedesco (Photo by Matt King/Getty Images)

David Holden

Women’s Origin tip: Queensland
Men’s Game 2 tip: New South Wales by 14

It takes bravery to admit that you are wrong and I was very wrong about Queensland. What a spineless, overrated bunch of pretty boys. I was swayed by the home ground advantage but that matters for nought when you can’t tackle. The Maroons would have been better off sending out an ageing Axe.

Anyway, enough dwelling in the past. There’s another game in Queensland which means there will be 100,000 heads at Suncorp, 50,000 people and 100,000 heads.

But, first things first. On Friday night, the Maroons take on the Sky Blues in the Women’s State of Origin at Sunshine Coast Stadium. The Maroons broke their duck last year with a 24-18 win over NSW, and I’ve got the feeling they will do it again.

A fair bit of Queensland’s attack will involve Ali Brigginshaw, Tarryn Aiken and Tamika Upton, and that should prove too much for NSW. Watch out for the Sky Blues’ Hannah Southwell, who hits really hard in defence.

Onto the men’s game. I think Queensland will get closer this time around. However, assuming the forwards cancel each other out, I don’t see how the Maroons can hold out the Blues back five.

If they get up in defence against Tom Trbojevic and Latrell Mitchell, Jarome Luai and Nathan Cleary will be putting the kicks in behind the Queensland line. It’s like those Easter Show stalls when you clock something on the head with your hammer, only for something else to pop up. James Tedesco and Josh Addo-Carr will be popping up this time.

So, I’m going with my heart and my head this time and picking the NSW Blues by 14.

Josh Addo-Carr will be the first to score and Nathan Cleary will smash any remaining Origin demons and win Man of the Match.

And, finally, in a slice of shameless self-promotion, follow my blog on the Roar of both games this weekend.

First try-scorer: Josh Addo-Carr
Man of the match: Nathan Cleary

Origin 2 AJ Mary David The Barry Scott Crowd
Margin 28 12 14 7 10 20
First try Walsh Trbojevic Addo-Carr Addo-Carr To’o Trbojevic
MOTM Cleary Trbojevic Cleary Cleary Tedesco Cleary
Origin 1 2 2 0 1 1 2
Total 2 2 0 1 1 2