NSW Blues vs Queensland Maroons Game 2

We’re back for State of Origin Game 2, Roarers!

After a sensational opening of the series in Sydney that went to the wire, Queensland caused an upset by winning the opener 16-10. Which adorable Roar Expert tipped them for winning by six? I have to check my notes.

The Maroons were just too strong and pretty much did everything right. Billy Slater’s Origin coaching career got off to the perfect start, and who would have guessed that Penrith’s best player on the pitch that night was going to be Liam Martin?

For the second time we head to Perth for Game 2. The last time Origin was played was, oddly enough, Game 2 of the 2019 series. The Blues bounced back from a Game 1 loss to win 38-6 and tie the series. Could history repeat itself?

As we saw this week, Freddy Fittler reacted calmly and rationally after losing the first game……..and made around 1000 substitutions. Junior Paulo heads to the exchange bench to make way for Jurbo in the front row, Mat Burton was rushed into crosses, Api Korisau was made hooker, Damien Cook pushed back to the bench to sit alongside Siosifa Talakai and Angus Crichton. More surprises for the reserve roster, with Victor Radley, Clint Gutherson and Jordan McLean all named.

Angus’ brother Stephen comes off the swap bench in centers for Jack Wighton who has Covid, with Ryan Matterson, Kotoni Staggs, Reagan Campbell-Gillard and Tariq Sims all receiving a ‘thank you but no thank you’ text.

Biggest shock for everyone – Foxx being left out again.

Josh Addo-Carr (Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

The biggest shock for me – Still. No. Reice. Robson.

Looking at the Maroons, Slater made three changes to his winning side but they were all down to injury. One of his best from Game 1, Reuben Cotter, was ruled out after picking up a hamstring injury, so a troop reshuffle sees Lindsay Collins move into the front row with Big Tino moving in to lock down. Jai Arrow is coming off the reserve roster on the trade bench with Beau Fermor selected as a reserve.

While Xavier Coates was injured in the opener, Murray Taulagi left the reserve roster to make his debut on the wing, and Corey Oates was named to the extended squad. Reece Walsh joins Coates on the extended bench after The Hammer failed his HIA over the weekend.

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State of Origin tips and predictions from The Roar: NSW Blues vs Queensland Maroons Game 2

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The first game was so quick – the speed was unbelievable. I expect the same on Sunday. NSW will be hoping their personnel changes will help win the battle around the ruck this time around, as well as give Nathan Cleary more space and time to kick. Queensland will be ready to repeat everything they did in Game 1 to try and lock down this series.

Don’t forget to enter your tips in the form below by 12 p.m. (AEST) on Sunday to be included in the crowd tips for Game 2.

Considering the Maroons have taken a 1-0 series lead, it seems only fair that our one and only pundit who has actually represented them can kick off the odds.

Michael Hagan

Council: NSW par 8

Koroisau could be the key to a much better performance for the Blues in Game 2. He’s a smart player on offense, but he also anchors Penrith’s ruck defense.

He will know when and where Nathan Cleary, Jarome Luai and Isaah Yeo like to get the ball back and they will have more time to play with it.

First try scorer:Matt Burton

Man of the match:Nathan Clear

Nathan Cleary Origin

(Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

Marie Konstantopoulos

Council: NSW par 8

Brad Fittler surprised me, making so many team changes after the first game on the State of Origin. Eight-point Blues for Game II so we can submit it to a decider next month.

My view was and still is that the Blues have the strongest team on paper. The Blues didn’t play well in Game I and I don’t think we’ll see a repeat performance in Game II. I also can’t wait to see Matt Burton in a sky blue jersey. I’m also curious to see how Freddie uses his bench this time, after his rotations came under heavy criticism in Game 1.

Cameron Munster was the X factor in the first game and I think he will be the scorer on the first try. At the moment, Munster are the best player in the game and truth be told, I think that was the difference between winning and losing for the Blues in Game I.

Nathan Cleary rarely has two bad games in a row, so I predict he’ll be the man of the match.

First try scorer:Cameron Munster

Man of the match:Nathan Clear

AJ Mithen  

Tip: Queensland by 1

New South Wales once rocked their team and tore Queensland into a new one in Perth, but this time it won’t work as well. Billy Slater has well and truly breathed that home state energy into his team that calls for performances far beyond the usual. They will miss Rueben Cotter and it will be interesting to see how Fittler plans for Carrigan, who blew his team away when he arrived. New South Wales will be tough, but I have the Maroons winning by the narrowest of margins.

First try scorer:Kurt Capwell

Man of the match:Valentine Holmes

Maroons' Valentine Holmes heads the ball

Valentine Holmes. (Photo by Ian Hitchcock/Getty Images)

Paul Sutor

Advice: NSW by 2

They have more mobility in the peloton this time around and that should notably allow Tedesco to become more present.

First try scorer:Jarome Luai

Man of the match: Payne Haas

Mike Meehall Wood

Tip: Queensland by 2

NSW failed to learn their lessons from the first game and dropped players (RCG) they should have kept and called players (Jurbo) who I have no idea what they are going to do.

Winning Margin – It’s hard to say – although I think NSW are generally a better team, I haven’t seen enough of that in G1 and then they picked a stupid team for G2. QLD by 2, I guess.

If QLD is going to win, it’s likely going to be a combination of their halves that will. He wasn’t at his best in G1 but Daly Cherry-Evans is rarely bad for long, and as a Manly fan I’m going for him.

The origin is generally tight and I see no reason why it shouldn’t continue here. He’ll be a winger, and if QLD is going to win, let’s go for Murray Taulagi on his debut.

NSW could and perhaps should have won G1 as they were the better side for much of it, especially in the first half, but failed to maintain the intensity when QLD stepped it up. Fittler’s reaction to taking out two of their best guys, RCG and Ryan Matterson, and replacing them with Jake Trbojevic – essentially a ball-playing third lock – and Angus Crichton makes no sense to me. Jurbo can’t run or break tackles (I’ve called him a specialist tackler in the past) and if he’s not there to pass what won’t be given to him that Cam Murray and Isaah Yeo play every two, so I have no idea why he’s there. I could also write an opus about Damien Cook’s half-pregnant shimmy run and then move on and how I hate it, but I’ll leave that for now. Bringing in Koroisau is Freddy’s rare and good choice.

QLD was good last time and will be better this time around because Taulagi is an improvement on Coates and Arrow isn’t a huge drop on Cotter. That’s all I have on them, they’re going to win.

First try scorer:Murray Taulagi

Man of the match:Daly Cherry Evans

Kurt Gidley

Council: NSW par 4

First try scorer: James Tedesco

Man of the match: James Tedesco

Danielle Smith

Tip: Queensland par 4

So many changes for the Blues, but some big names in the list. After Gus Gould’s question about being too “panther” Freddy fought fire with fire and added more!

I just can’t get past Qld. They’ll miss Cotter, but they’re still a ton ahead. Maroons to win but not as much as last time.

First try scorer:Murray Taulagi

Man of the match:Valentine Holmes

Isaah Yeo of the Blues is tackled during the 2022 State of Origin Series opener between the New South Wales Blues and the Queensland Maroons at Accor Stadium on June 08, 2022 in Sydney, Australia.  (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

Blues’ Isaah Yeo is tackled (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

Origin 2
Michael H

New South Wales
New South Wales
New South Wales
New South Wales


First try



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