Wednesday 18 May 2011

Origin 2011: NSW v QLD Game 1 State of Origin Blog #2 - Wednesday May 18

Edition 2, Wednesday May 18, 2011 - Seven Sleeps til Origin 1.

News Round Up:
If you think we've missed something worth linking - post it as a comment below and we'll put it up quick smart.
Darren Lockyer Chat Highlights:
As compiled by The NRL Tweet.
Lockyer says he always wanted to be like 'The King' Wally Lewis growing up. "I used to run around the yard and imitate Wally."
Lockyer admits QLD just fed ball to Inglis & Hodges as much as they could and even though Nielsen and Tonga different players, the game plan won't change because they've still got Billy Slater.
Lockyer says despite QLD having won 5 series in a row - pressure remains on both teams to win. No more pressure than previous years
Lockyer is asked if QLD will send traffic in Soward's direction. Unsurprisingly Lockyer says they won't... so of course they will.
Lockyer says that Dugan & Soward could be the future of NSW. Is that code for 'Gee I hope Hayne & Carney don't get a run'...?
Controversy! Lockyer says Paul Gallen is short! "He isn't overly tall." ... Whether or not he praises him otherwise is irrelevant.
Lockyer says Ricky Stuart is the most laid back coach he's ever played under... Just kidding he says Stuart "is very intense & competitive character."
Sterling: Why Dugan beat Hayne for NSW Fullback
In Peter Sterling's column for he believes that 'Josh Dugan won the contentious number one jersey over Jarryd Hayne and did so after shading his main rival in Albury.' For Sterling's full run-down on the NSW Team click here.
Gorden Tallis just can't shut up... gives it to Dave Taylor a second time.
We all love the passion Gorden Tallis has for the game but he's playing a stupid game criticising Dave Taylor a second time in a week "Whoever is talking to Dave Taylor and telling him he is going good has to stop it."... not only does it make Tallis look like a goose for bashing a fellow Queenslander - he's also on the coaching staff at South Sydney... where Taylor plays. What else did Gordie say on Click here.
Bolter? This is where Dane Nielsen came from....
If you were wondering who Queensland considered to replace Greg Inglis and Justin Hodges for that centre spot - here's a list from the QRL website that tells you who is eligible for the Maroons. Where is NSW's list? And is Feleti Mateo on it?

PS. Gerard Beale is on the list and last time we checked he make the Kiwi Squad for the ANZAC Test... but hey he's still eligible under QLD's criteria! (Note: just a dig, we know this list was at the start of 2011 when Beale had not made a decision).
Who did Ricky Stuart pick to 'run' the Blues?
Brad Walter lists those handpicked by Ricky Stuart to be part of the coaching and management team for NSW in 2011. NSW Skipper Paul Gallen appreciates the input saying "I know from speaking to Ricky he has been working really hard and next Wednesday we are going to be as well prepared as we can be."
Shock Horror - the Maroons want to win.
Lindsey Cuthbertson quotes Darren Lockyer on the objective for the Maroons in his last series as a player. "Our objective is to win two of the three games and we'd like to get away to a good start with a win in Brisbane next Wednesday."
A dream come true for Nielsen, Smith.
Phil Lutton finds out more about Dane Nielsen from his club skipper and now QLD team-mate Cameron Smith. QLD Coach Mal Meninga adds "He's a great defensive centre." Geesh fair wrap big fella...
Don't you just love a secret team meeting... that invites the paper.Tommy Raudonikis has his critics (see Tweet Worth Reading) but he's getting a lot of love from the Telegraph. Tyson Otto was at a 'secret' NSW Origin meeting where 'Major Tommy' told the troops that Queensland were 'beatable'.
Blog: Does it means more to play for Queensland?Dean Ritchie will reveal why his columns make people vo... sorry why the Queenslander spirit makes him vomit in a blog at the Telegraph today.
Greg Bird: 'I'm going to give Lockyer headaches'
Stuart Honeysett investigates the 'Hitman' tag on NSW backrower Greg Bird. "I'll just bring to the game what I usually play, just physical aggression, and try to give 'Locky' as many headaches as I can."
Mulit-Media Coverage:
Queensland Coach Mal Meninga on Dane Nielsen's selection. Courtesy of FoxSportsNews.

Tweet Worth Reading: 
Former NRL now Super League fullback Luke Patten of the Salford Reds just doesn't get why Tommy Raudonikis is always featured as part of the NSW Origin marketing campaign...

Twitter Origin Update:
As of 1:00pm 18/05/2011
@NSWRL Followers: 3,090 (+66)
@QLD_Maroon Followers: 2,396 (+78)
A look back at a bit of Origin biff from 1995 - everyone talks about Jamie Goddard landing one on Andrew Johns as one the best fights - but how good was the stoush between David Barnhill and Billy Moore? Enjoy.

What's Coming Up on Wednesday:
Queensland and New South Wales will wrap up any media commitments they have and then go into serious training as of Thursday.
We'll chase up the respective camps to get their itinerary's for the next blog.
Keep checking back on the blog for any breaking news and multimedia reports released during the day.
For instant updates or to let us know of some content to add to the Blog - Follow us @NRLTweet


QLD Maroons State of Origin Team Game 1
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
WINGER: Darius BOYD (Dragons)
CENTRE: Willie TONGA (Cowboys)
WINGER: Jharal Yow Yeh (Broncos)
HALFBACK: Johnathan THURSTON (Cowboys)
PROP: Matthew SCOTT (Cowboys)
HOOKER: Cameron SMITH (Storm)
PROP: Petero CIVONICEVA (Panthers)
SECOND ROW: Nate MYLES (Roosters)
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)
FIRST THOUGHTS 1:15pm May 17:
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.
What are your thoughts on the QLD Side for Game One? 

NSW Blues State of Origin Team Game 1
New South Wales Blues Coach Ricky Stuart has named the following 18 Man Squad for Game One of the 2011 State of Origin Series.
GAME ONE, 2011
FULLBACK: Josh DUGAN (Raiders)
WINGER: Brett MORRIS (Dragons)
CENTRE: Michael JENNINGS (Panthers)
CENTRE: Mark GASNIER (Dragons)
WINGER: Akuila UATE (Knights)
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: Dean YOUNG (Dragons)
18th MAN: Jamal IDRIS (Bulldogs) - Announced 17/5

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 announced as 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.
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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.

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