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Monday, July 13, 2009

State of Origin III Preview

Queensland had achieved history as predicted after they beated New South Wales in Game 2. Now the focus in Suncorp Stadium in Game 3 is if Queensland can further humiliate New South Wales to achieve the clean sweep record. Changes are found in both sides, so there will be a different combination and hopefully there will be another surprise. Now here's my preview:

Queensland: No doubt, they were too good for New South Wales. The combination of Cameron Smith, Jonathan Thurston, and Darren Lockyer were still threatening to New South Wales. On the other hand, Greg Inglis was the man who can finish the play well and gave Nre South Wales no chance to bounce back. Even though they may not have so much mentality in this game as they have secured the Origin shield, Suncorp is Suncorp, they will have a home court advantage which New South Wales must handle. Changes had been made as there were injuries including Israel Folau, Ben Hannant, and Petero Civoniceva. The forward may have some problems as the two men are very important for the forward protection to the backs.
What Queensland needs to improve: Again, fitness. Queensland were walking in the final 20 minutes of the Game 2 and New South Wales were so close to score to equalize or even win the game. Michael Crocker was struggling most in terms of fitness as he could barely hold the football tight and kept making mistakes. Sam Thaiday must stand up this time as his fitness is one of the best among the team.

New South Wales: Compared to Game 2, they had 11 changes ahead to Game 3. Even though there was various reasons to explain why there were so many changes, I believe coach Craig Bellamy and the selectors were very upset to their performance. Trent Barrett was the most threatening player in Game 2 and I believe he can keep bringing threats to Queensland this Wednesday. His experience and game reading can make the others play comfortably. The halfback is changed to Brett Kimmorley, compare with Peter Wallace in first two games. I believe this duo can bring a lot of combination and experience to the team so that players like Kurt Gidley and Jarryd Hayne will play better this time.
What New South Wales needs to improve: Finishing. As Queensland was walking in final 20 minutes in Game 2, they failed to score 1 more try to win the game. This was because they failed to finish the play, especially in Tackle 5 situation. Good kicking plays were rarely to see in Game 2 as they could not finish the game play well. They must improve this finishing or else Queensland will have a final say again.

My prediction: This is all about in Queensland's hand. If Queensland is chasing the clean sweep, New South Wales is very hard to stop them. As Queensland had already claimed the series, I believe New South Wales can have a slight advantage over Queensland. Also, Brett Kimmorley, Trent Barrett, and Kurt Gidley can bring lots of threats to Queensland if they combine well. So even Queensland is playing in Suncorp Stadium, I believe New South Wales this time can take some pride back home.
My tip: New South Wales by 1 try

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