Don’t poke the QLD bear
114 games. That’s how much experience Queensland has lost since the side’s Game 3 win last year at Suncorp Stadium.
Now, throw in the injury to Billy Slater and potential injuries to Dane Gagai and Ben Hunt and that number rises to a staggering 151 games. With a new era of dominance seemingly about to commence for New South Wales, it seems that the Queensland flame will finally be extinguished. Brad Fittler’s men seem primed and ready, and will take no prisoners in Game 1 at the MCG.
But this is exactly what Queensland wants you to think.
The Maroons have their backs against the wall and according to mainstream media the Blues have just about wrapped up Game 1 without even taking the field, courtesy of retirement announcements from Thurston, Smith and Cronk.
While there is no disputing that the removal of perhaps the greatest spine in Origin history will affect the Maroons, it would be unadvised to count them out of the contest just yet; their replacements aren’t half bad.
It is my belief that Queensland will come out swinging tonight in Melbourne. With all-time great Greg Inglis the newly appointed captain and Storm gun Cameron Munster wearing the famous Queensland number six jersey, I think this game will be a lot closer than many are predicting.
Now don’t get me wrong, I think the Blues will win this won. But, I can guarantee you this, Queensland will never be easy beats and this game will go down to the wire. I’m expecting a close game with a lot of penalties, but don’t count out this Queensland spirit. It’s always unwise to poke the bear.
This Game 1 match symbolises a new era for both teams, one trying to start a new chapter, and another getting ready to close one. The question remains, who will come out on top?
I can tell you this, whoever wins this first game will take out the series in the end. You can be sure about that.