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Monday, 14 May 2012

State of Origin 2012: Queensland Official Game 1 Team Analysis

STATE OF ORIGIN 2012
OFFICIAL QUEENSLAND GAME 1 ORIGIN TEAM
By W D Nicolson, May 14, 2012
QLD Coach Mal Meninga has reinstated David Shillington, selected veteran Brent Tate to replace the injured Jharal Yow Yeh on the wing and included Matt Gillett on the bench in the only slightly surprising moves that differ from the team that has won six straight State of Origin Series.

Of course Darren Lockyer has retired, but Corey Parker and Jacob Lillyman are the only players to be genuinely omitted with the return of Shillington from injury and Dave Taylor from suspension that cost him Game 3 last year.

Game 1 is on Wednesday May 23 at Etihad Stadium in Melbourne against NSW.

The Official QLD team was named at 6:30pm Monday May 14.
QUEENSLAND MAROONS
- Official Game 1 Squad -
Likely starting team below.
FB: Billy SLATER
WI: Darius BOYD
CE: Greg INGLIS
CE: Justin HODGES
WI: Brent TATE
FE: Johnathan THURSTON
HB: Cooper CRONK
PR: Matthew SCOTT
HK: Cameron SMITH (c)
PR: Petero CIVONICEVA
SR: Nate MYLES
SR: Sam THAIDAY
LK: Ashley HARRISON
Bench:
Matt GILLETT
Ben HANNANT
David SHILLINGTON
Dave TAYLOR
Daly CHERRY-EVANS (18th Man)
Dane NIELSEN (On standby for Hodges)
Coach: Mal Meninga

GRADE: A Considering www.wdnicolson.com predicted this team three weeks ago - that should be a sign this is about as good as QLD can get coming into Game 1. Petero is the only question mark based on form, while Corey Parker gets ousted by the guy he filled in for due to injury last year in David Shillington. Cherry-Evans will be 18th man after being pushed out of the bench spot by Matt Gillett, Nielsen is on standby for Hodges (ankle) and Josh McGuire was the only real threat to Petero outside of Parker. This team picks itself, it's simply that good.
QUICK HIT POSITIONAL ANALYSIS:
This squad has won SIX straight Origin series... suffice to say it's pretty good all over the park.


The official NSW Team was named at 5pm Sunday May 13. 
NEW SOUTH WALES BLUES 
- Official Game 1 Squad -
Likely starting team below.
FB: Brett STEWART
WI: Jarryd HAYNE
CE: Michael JENNINGS
CE: Josh MORRIS
WI: Akuila UATE
FE: Todd CARNEY
HB: Mitchell PEARCE
PR: James TAMOU
HK: Robbie FARAH
PR: Paul GALLEN (c)
SR: Greg BIRD
SR: Luke LEWIS
LK: Glenn STEWART
Bench:
Jamie BUHRER
Ben CREAGH
Trent MERRIN
Tony WILLIAMS
Coach: Ricky STUART.

GRADE: A- Stuart has rolled the dice in a lot of positions, went a bit conservative on the bench with Creagh and Merrin and may not use Buhrer but Williams is a plus. Gets the A- based on picking Hayne, Farah and Carney in the same team. It gives NSW some (if faint) hope... and sometimes that's all you need.
QUICK HIT POSITIONAL ANALYSIS:
Brett Stewart has beaten out Josh Dugan for the #1 - so for Stewart's sake you hope he stays fit and Stuart stays loyal, the Blues have had a revolving door at fullback and the Stewart brothers aspect is the clear reason he's been picked.
Josh Morris has ousted Chris Lawrence for the other centre spot on attacking form and Michael Jennings has rightly been picked as Ricky's #1 centre despite being in NSW Cup this weekend.
Jamie Buhrer will be lucky to get off the bench...
Bye bye Mick Ennis and hello Robbie Farah who is finally given the keys to the NSW station wagon - let's see if he can turn it into a Ferrari.
Ben Creagh beat out Anthony Watmough (who wasn't 100%) and Tariq Sims for a spot on the bench in a surprising move, while Brett Morris misses out due to Jarryd Hayne's match winning ability.
Trent Merrin gets another crack on the bench after a good start to the season, while Tim Mannah was no hope. Aaron Woods is a touch unlucky but could still be called in as 18th man.
James Tamou makes his debut, as do Todd Carney and Tony Williams who loom (along with Farah and Hayne) as NSW's x-factors... but can they be big enough x-factors when you compare them to QLD's five or six?

Agree or Disagree with Ricky Stuart's NSW or Mal Meninga's QLD team?

If you've got a view - let us know in the comments below or via @NRLTweet

NOT The Footy Show will dissect both teams on Episode 106 this Wednesday May 16 at 8:15pm and on the podcast which will be uploaded at 11pm.
CAN THE COCKROACHES BREAK THE CANE TOADS DOMINANCE THIS YEAR?


NOT The Footy Show's NSW and QLD Game 1 Special will be released on Wednesday May 16th via our iTunes Podcast and on our YouTube Channel. Subscribe to the Podcast here.

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