NSW Blues State of Origin Team Game 1
NOT The Footy Show State of Origin Game 1 Preview
New South Wales Blues Coach Ricky Stuart has named the following 18 Man Squad for Game One of the 2011 State of Origin Series.
FULLBACK: Josh DUGAN (Raiders)
WINGER: Brett MORRIS (Dragons)
CENTRE: Michael JENNINGS (Panthers)
CENTRE: Mark GASNIER (Dragons)
WINGER: Akuila UATE (Knights)
FIVE-EIGHTH: Jamie SOWARD (Dragons)
HALFBACK: Mitchell PEARCE (Roosters)
PROP: Jason KING (Sea Eagles)
HOOKER: Michael ENNIS (Bulldogs)
PROP: Kade SNOWDEN (Sharks)
SECOND ROW: Beau SCOTT (Dragons)
SECOND ROW: Greg BIRD (Titans)
LOCK: Paul GALLEN (c) (Sharks)
BENCH: Ben CREAGH (Dragons)
BENCH: Trent MERRIN (Dragons)
BENCH: Tim MANNAH (Eels)
BENCH: Dean YOUNG (Dragons)
18th MAN: Jamal IDRIS (Bulldogs)
COACH: Ricky STUART
FIRST THOUGHTS 5:15pm May 15:
Jarryd Hayne has been dudded.
Has more class than Ricky Stuart obviously knows what to do with in this football side... Josh Dugan has been given the keys to the car without earning it this year outside of his performance in the All Stars game back in February. It makes zero sense given what NSW have lacked in the last 5 years has been class to fight the known class of the Queensland team. Still I guess good luck Josh.
Todd Carney and Luke Lewis have also been dudded.
Hard to believe that they have missed out given they proved their fitness in Round 10. Michael Jennings (who I would have had there if I was picking the side) gets in despite missing Round 10 with injury... as did his centre partner Mark Gasnier (who Stuart said was picked ahead of Jamal Idris - who was later made 18th man). Doesn't make a great deal of sense why Jennings can make it but those two cannot. If they've played all year surely they are two of the first picked Ricky?
Brett Morris and Akuila Uate are the wingers with Stuart saying it would not have 'been fair' on Hayne or Dugan to play either out of position... geesh that doesn't work for Queensland with Darius Boyd now does it?
Jamie Soward gets the five-eighth spot but for how long? NSW have a history of dropping first game five-eighths so don't get too comfortable Jamie. Especially if Carney has a ripping next few weeks for the Roosters.
Halfback is Mitchell Pearce - no surprise there, despite his team's struggles. But he really isn't in great touch at the moment but Jarrod Mullen's cooled off himself to a degree the last few weeks - so it was always going to be Pearce.
Up front Aiden Tolman has been harshly omitted in favour of an injured Jason King - who again has been unable to play the past two weeks due to a rib injury. While King was there in Game 3 last year - a front rower with bad ribs might as well be wearing a target on his back. Interestingly Tom Learoyd-Lahrs was not picked due to a cheekbone injury and King was alongside Australian prop Kade Snowden.
At hooker 'mongrel types' Michael Ennis and Dean Young push ahead of Robbie Farah but there are no surprises there as NSW have shown they have no interest in picking class at dummy half since Game 2, 2009.
The backrow sees no room for Nathan Hindmarsh despite Ricky Stuart being quoted as saying Hindmarsh was everything he wanted when it came to Origin. Funny how Beau Scott got picked at right centre to contain Greg Inglis last year - didn't - and is now in a more important defensive role in the backrow. Scott is a great club defender but he was found out last year by Inglis. He's joined in the backrow by Greg Bird and captain Paul Gallen who had superb games in Origin 3 last year.
Trent Merrin is the new face alongside Tim Mannah and Young on the bench. Australia's starting second rower Ben Creagh is picked as a bench forward with no room for another shock non-selection Anthony Watmough.
Gallen is the lock and skipper, despite hurting his shoulder against the Roosters.
So the sum up the Big SNUBS are: Hayne, Carney, Lewis, Watmough, Hindmarsh, Idris and Learoyd-Lahrs.
What are your thoughts on the NSW Side for Game One?
Type them in the Comments below.
Queensland Maroons Coach Mal Meninga named the following 18 Man Squad for Game 1 of the 2011 State of Origin Series on Tuesday May 17.
GAME ONE, 2011
FULLBACK: Billy SLATER (Storm)
WINGER: Darius BOYD (Dragons)
CENTRE: Dane NIELSEN (Storm)
CENTRE: Willie TONGA (Cowboys)
WINGER: Jharal Yow Yeh (Broncos)
FIVE-EIGHTH: Darren LOCKYER (Broncos)
HALFBACK: Johnathan THURSTON (Cowboys)
PROP: Matthew SCOTT (Cowboys)
HOOKER: Cameron SMITH (Storm)
PROP: Petero CIVONICEVA (Panthers)
SECOND ROW: Nate MYLES (Roosters)
SECOND ROW: Sam THAIDAY (Broncos)
LOCK: Ashley HARRISON (Titans)
BENCH: Cooper CRONK (Storm)
BENCH: Corey PARKER (Broncos)
BENCH: Jacob LILLYMAN (Warriors)
BENCH: Ben HANNANT (Broncos)
18th MAN: Dave TAYLOR (Rabbitohs)
NOT The Footy Show Produced the following NSW Blues Selection Special on May 7 - these were our teams, not a prediction of the side NSW would in fact pick.
COACH: Mal MENINGA
No Greg Inglis or Justin Hodges - huge omissions for the Maroons.
Inglis was ruled out with a hip injury by his club doctor and Hodges tore his troublesome hammy on Friday Night - they have been replaced by veteran Willie Tonga and rookie Dane Nielsen from the Melbourne Storm.
Billy Slater is the fullback and Queensland made room for another gun #1 with Darius Boyd on the wing. Australian débutant Jharal Yow Yeh was also selected on the right wing.
Darren Lockyer is the five-eighth and skipper for his final Origin Series and is partnered in the halves by Johnathan Thurston who has been in wonderful form this year to lead the @NRLTweet Player of the Year Award by quite a margin after 10 rounds.
Ashley Harrison has quite rightly held the lock forward spot ahead of Dallas Johnson and Sam Thaiday and Nate Myles (or Nate MILES as this photo from the official team unveiling suggests) are in the second row.
Matthew Scott and Petero Civoniceva are easy choices to start in the front row with David Shillington unavailable through injury.
Cameron Smith is the hooker - no shocks there.
The bench is interesting however. Cooper Cronk keeps his utility spot ahead of Matthew Bowen and Ben Barba, but Corey Parker, Jacob Lillyman and Ben Hannant have pushed past 18th Man Dave Taylor and the omitted Neville Costigan to make the bench. Both Taylor and Costigan were on the bench for Queensland in last year's series.
So the sum up the Big SNUBS are: Taylor, Costigan and possibly Johnson. But in truth Queensland were pretty set coming into the naming of the team - only the bolter Dane Nielsen is a shock and when you consider how little there was to pick at centre for Queensland behind Inglis, Hodges and Tonga - no other player can feel hard done by missing out.
This website - www.wdnicolson.com - will produce a large amount of Origin centric content throughout the 2011 Series. So Bookmark this site if you haven't already.
NSW TEAM SELECTION SPECIAL
MAY 8, 2011
After the surprising popularity of NOT The Footy Show's State of Origin Special in May 2010, Nic and Waz have produced a NSW Blues Special featuring their picks for the NSW Origin Team for Game 1 in 2011.
Forget trying to predict what the NSW Selectors will actually pick - it'll do your head in - so in our annual Video Selection Show, we'll pick the team we'd select in order to finally beat those pesky Queenslanders and win back the State of Origin Shield.
We had a good time putting it together - hopefully you enjoy it!