Sunday 26 June 2011

NSW Blues State of Origin Team for Game 3, 2011 (Named June 26)

NOT The Footy Show Episode 71 - July 05, 2011.

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8:05pm (Local) 6 July @ Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane. GAME STATS
Coming In... Series Tied 1-1
QLD Lost Game 2 TEAM RECORD 48 Games Won, 15 Series Wins, 170 Players Used.
NSW Won Game 2 TEAM RECORD 42 Games Won, 12 Series Wins, 240 Players Used.
Stats courtesy of the great website RUGBYLEAGUEPROJECT.ORG
Head to Head Last 10...
MAROONS 7 BLUES 3 - The Blues may have bounced back to win Game but they have still only won 2 of the last 8 games. The Maroons won the 2010 Series 3-0 and oh... the last five series in a row.
Tuesday Team News...
QLD: Slater, Boyd, Hodges, Inglis, Yow Yeh, Lockyer (c), Thurston, Scott, Smith, Civoniceva, Myles, Thaiday, Harrison. Bench: Cronk, Parker, Lillyman, Hannant. Nielsen (18th Man).
[Team Changes - Queensland get Justin Hodges back from a hamstring tear and he replaces Dane Nielsen (who remains in the squad). Jacob Lillyman and Dave Taylor have swapped spots again with Taylor suspended for 5 weeks]
NSW: Minichiello, B Morris, Gasnier, Hayne, Uate, Soward, Pearce, Gallen (c), Ennis, Mannah, G Stewart/Scott, Creagh, Bird. Bench: Gidley, Watmough, Lewis, Galloway. Merrin, Jennings, B Scott (18th and 19th Men).
[Team Changes - The Blues brought back Michael Jennings who played in Game 1 and will test his fitness after an ankle injury ruled him out of Game 2. Glenn Stewart, Keith Galloway and Brett Morris are also in the squad which won't be fully trimmed until Game Day. Beau Scott is struggling with a knee injury, while Jamie Soward and Kurt Gidley have dodgy hamstrings and Ben Creagh a bad ankle.  Trent Merrin seems likely to miss out. ]
Wednesday Game Preview...
It comes down to this... can the New South Wales players live with themselves if Queensland make it 6 straight series wins?
If that motivation is stronger than Queensland's wanting to send out Darren Lockyer a winner - then the Blues will win.
Oh and they need to play out of their skins because Queensland haven't won 5 in a row by chance.
Tipping + Fantasy Late Mail... 
SMH and Other Late Mail 5/07 - Beau Scott and Michael Jennings have been left out of Ricky Stuart's final 17 according to the SMH, with Jarryd Hayne moving to the centres, Brett Morris coming onto the wing and Glenn Stewart and Keith Galloway coming into the team. Trent Merrin was dropped on Friday. Queensland have a slight concern over Justin Hodges (Hammy) but are expected to leave Dane Nielsen out of their 17 and play Jacob Lillyman instead.
The NRL Tweet's Tip... 
BLUES To Win By 2 Points.
My entry for the Origin Prediction Game - Enter yours below.
Full-Time Score: QLD 16 v 18 NSW
Half-Time Score: NSW 12-10
1st Tryscorer: Akuila Uate, NSW
Last Tryscorer: Darius Boyd, QLD
1st Penalty ConcededPaul Gallen, NSW
1st Knock-On: Nate Myles, QLD
Man of the Match: Mitchell Pearce, NSW
Exotic #1: Harry Hamstrings: Will a player redo their Hammy? Yes or No + Number of Hammy's Hurt.
Exotic #2: Pest Control: Which of Michael Ennis or Justin Hodges will bring the niggle first?
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NSW Blues State of Origin Team Game 3
New South Wales Blues Coach Ricky Stuart has named the following 20 Man Squad for Game Three of the 2011 State of Origin Series.
WINGER: Jarryd HAYNE (Eels)
CENTRE: Michael JENNINGS (Panthers) *
CENTRE: Mark GASNIER (Dragons)
WINGER: Akuila UATE (Knights)
FIVE-EIGHTH: Jamie SOWARD (Dragons) *
HALFBACK: Mitchell PEARCE (Roosters)
PROP: Paul GALLEN (Sharks) (c)
HOOKER: Michael ENNIS (Bulldogs)
SECOND ROW: Beau SCOTT (Dragons) *
SECOND ROW: Ben CREAGH (Dragons) *
LOCK: Greg BIRD (Titans)
BENCH: Trent MERRIN (Dragons) - Dropped from Squad Friday July 1
BENCH: Kurt GIDLEY (Knights) *
BENCH: Anthony WATMOUGH (Sea Eagles)
BENCH: Luke LEWIS (Panthers)
BENCH: Glenn STEWART (Sea Eagles) *
BENCH: Keith GALLOWAY (Tigers)
BENCH: Brett MORRIS (Dragons)
* Denotes all in doubt with injury.
FIRST THOUGHTS 9:35pm June 26:
Poor Ricky Stuart STILL can't make up his mind.
Admittedly the changes or should I say the additions to NSW's Team for State of Origin 3 are injury related, he has named a 20 man squad for the decider and placed some doubt in the minds of at least one young player who he has shown faith in for the opening two games.
That is young prop Trent Merrin who has been retained in the squad for Game 3 despite two ordinary performances in the Origin arena and big Keith Galloway has been drafted in - which looks very much like a situation where only injury will keep Merrin in the 17 - rather than keeping Galloway out of it. The other new faces in the squad from Game 2 are Michael Jennings, Brett Morris and Glenn Stewart.
The key injury concerns are Beau Scott, Ben Creagh, Kurt Gidley and Jennings for the Blues. Will Hopoate has a hamstring tear from Origin 2 and is out, and although Jennings hasn't played a game in the NRL since hurting himself in Origin 1, he is clearly Stuart's first choice at left centre. His shadow player appears to be Brett Morris (who hasn't played a game since Round 12 because of a hammy and if Jennings can't go then Jarryd Hayne would shift to the centres (or perhaps Luke Lewis) and play inside Morris on the left. Gidley's hamstring prevented him from playing in Round 16 but he is likely to play, Glenn Stewart's versatility could help him grab a bench spot if Gidley is ruled out.
Scott and Creagh (who has been named to play for the Dragons v Manly Monday Night) are big concerns in the backrow. Both started Game 2 but were injured during the match and the two bench backrowers from that game - Anthony Watmough and Luke Lewis were outstanding. Scott seems to be the biggest concern, while Creagh (if he can get through MNF) is considered the more likely to play.
Otherwise the squad that gave Queensland their first loss since Game 3 of the 2009 Series has been retained - including Anthony Minichiello at fullback after Game 1 fullback Josh Dugan failed to play for the Raiders this past Round 16.
New South Wales got great value out of Will Hopoate on début in Game 2, they got a standout performance from Michael Jennings in Game 1 and whoever steps into that left centre spot needs to produce just as good a performance because they'll be marking one Greg Inglis who found form in Origin 2 and has been huge for the Bunnies the past two weeks.
The backrow would survive without Scott and possibly Creagh as well but one still can't fathom how Ricky Stuart can talk in glowing terms about Nathan Hindmarsh before the series and then not pick him in any game...
The other fit players who could consider themselves a touch unlucky are Tom Learoyd-Lahrs, Tariq Sims (rubbed out of Origin 3 contention by the same NRL Jokediciary that cleared Johnathan Thurston for the same game) and Aiden Tolman (who in all likelihood would've been a starting prop in Game 1 if not for injury).
UPDATE JUNE 27 - Jamie Soward tweaked a hamstring late in St.George-Illawarra's 24-6 win over Manly and is now in doubt. Glenn Stewart hurt his back (also late) and Ben Creagh didn't get through the game without aggravating his ankle injury... so the Blues have some issues. But then so do Queensland who will likely be without Dave Taylor after he was charged with a dangerous throw that will rub him out of a month of footy.
What are your thoughts on the NSW Side for Game Three? 
Type them in the Comments below.
- NOT The Footy Show @ Origin 2 - 
NOT The Footy Show's Dave and Waz ventured to ANZ Stadium to witness NSW's 18-8 win over QLD in Game 2 of the 2011 State of Origin Series on June 15.
This is their story...
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Queensland Maroons State of Origin Team Game 3
Queensland Maroons Coach Mal Meninga will name an 18 Man Squad on Tuesday June 28 for Game Three of the 2011 State of Origin Series.
WINGER: Darius BOYD (Dragons)
CENTRE: Justin HODGES (Broncos)
CENTRE: Greg INGLIS (Rabbitohs)
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: Ben HANNANT (Broncos)
BENCH: Jacob LILLYMAN (Warriors)
BENCH: Corey PARKER (Broncos)
18th MAN: Dane NIELSEN (Storm)

FIRST THOUGHTS 2:15pm June 28:
There is no Dave Taylor after he was ruled out through suspension after a dangerous throw for the Bunnies in Round 16. Jacob Lillyman gets another chance after being dropped for Game 2 and he comes onto the bench. Dane Nielsen is the other casualty, with Justin Hodges coming in to the centres and Nielsen becoming the 18th man. Nielsen will stay with the Maroons throughout the camp given the Storm have the bye this weekend.
Otherwise there are no changes for Queensland who have retained every other player involved in the 18-8 loss in Game 2.
This will be Darren Lockyer's final State of Origin game and possibly Petero Civoniceva's last game too - so there are extra incentives for the Maroons to win this game, beyond six straight series victories.
Dallas Johnson and Michael Crocker may consider themselves a touch unlucky to miss out on a call up with the Taylor suspension but Mal Meninga spoke in glowing terms regarding Lillyman's form since being dropped - so he was clearly the only one on the Queensland radar for Game 3.
What are your thoughts on the QLD Side for Game Three? 
Type them in the Comments below.
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