National Rugby League Premiership
By W D Nicolson - May 21, 2016
So we asked the question on Twitter - do you want to read a team that we would pick for State of Origin 1 or the team we think the selectors will pick?
Some gave a clear answer, others clearly just wanted both. So we'll stick with the team we would pick, then go to the team we think Laurie Daley selects on Monday.
In short - our NSW team is picked to score points. Queensland have 20 points in them at least, and picking a team that completely relies on keeping QLD to 12 points or less has zero margin of error.
You won't agree with every pick - but that's not the point.
We'll do our QLD team tomorrow.
The NRL Tweet's NSW Origin Team for Game 1 2016
- Matt Moylan - His creativity alone gets him here. A must given NSW need to be able to score points.
- Josh Dugan - Honestly think this is his best position in Origin... by far.
- Michael Jennings - Isn't going to be beaten out by anyone so he's here. Roberts a way off yet and Croker isn't up to it defensively.
- Josh Morris - Isn't setting the world on fire but he's a far better defender than Dugan here.
- Blake Ferguson - Gets the call ahead of Josh Mansour because he offers more natural strike in attack.
- James Maloney - Just has to be the #6. Josh Reynolds is not the answer and neither is Blake Austin based on what the latter's shown in 2016.
- Mitchell Pearce - I was against him for years and he's here because Aidan Sezer hasn't shown enough (liked his kicking game as the reason to go with him a month or so back) and Adam Reynolds isn't creative enough to pick him ahead of Pearce's support play. Something tells me he's got something left to give at Origin level... but I'm not convinced we'll see him for Game 1. That said - he's my #7 because of his ability and combo with Maloney.
- Aaron Woods - Will be leant on early to lead the charge - not sure how Daley will use him after his first stint though. We'd start him for the first 30 and bring him back just after halftime for Fifita.
- Robbie Farah - No question he's the right #9 - Michael Ennis is playing well yes, but NSW's fortunes changed when Farah came back into the team in 2013... NSW are 5-6 with him in the team since... NSW are 2-6 with Ennis at hooker. He is Daley's most important player without Hayne available.
- Paul Gallen - Days of 80 minutes at Origin level are over for mine but that's not a negative given the quality of props on this bench. Starts and finishes the game - but NSW can live without him through the middle 20 or so and it freshens him up to create more second phase from his offloads. Still the leader on this team.
- Boyd Cordner - Maloney's defensive rock on the left and NSW's best edge runner. More I see the more I like from him at this level.
- Bryce Cartwright - NSW need points - have we mentioned that? Don't roll the dice with him off the bench - roll it from the outset - let's see what he brings to that right edge and him being there instantly makes Josh Morris more dangerous than Beau Scott ever could.
- Greg Bird - Has been playing great footy this year - can play 80 but given the bench may not have to.
- Andrew Fifita - Is going to terrorise QLD's middle when he comes on - straight swap for Woods after 15-20 and plays through to after halftime. Bring him back when the game needs him.
- Josh Jackson - Covers the backrow (esp if Cartwright is exposed defensively early) and the centres if needed, may not play big minutes but you don't need him to.
- David Klemmer - May only play two short stints but that's what you want from him - instant impact heading into halftime and halfway through the 2nd Half or last 10 minutes.
- James Tamou - Unlucky not to start given his form but I love his punch off the bench as part of this huge 5 prop rotation. Comes on for Gallen.
Now that's my team... meaning there's no room for Beau Scott, Ryan Hoffman, Trent Merrin, Will Hopoate, Trent Hodkinson or Michael Ennis from the Game 3 team of 2015.
And... this is the NSW Team I think Laurie Daley will probably pick on Monday:
- Matt Moylan
- Josh Mansour or Josh Morris
- Michael Jennings
- Josh Dugan
- Blake Ferguson
- James Maloney
- Adam Reynolds
- Aaron Woods
- Robbie Farah
- James Tamou
- Beau Scott
- Boyd Cordner
- Paul Gallen
- Andrew Fifita
- Josh Jackson/Tyson Frizell/Bryce Cartwright
- David Klemmer
- Greg Bird
So it's not drastically different to our team but the one selection we're not convinced we're aligned on is Moylan over Dugan at fullback. And that's the one (along with Farah over Ennis) that in our minds is the most important to get right if NSW are to have any hope in this series.