2010 State of Origin Game 1 Preview & Betting

Tonight at ANZ Stadium game one of the 30th State Of Origin series kicks off, as the NSW Blues take on the XXXX QLD Maroons, the cane toads attempting to get a head start on securing their record fifth consecutive Origin series.

After a series of blows including Cameron Smith’s withdrawal from the squad and injury concerns surround big name players Inglis and Thurston, Queensland have drifted out to the $2 underdogs with Ladbrokes.com.au.

New South Wales, currently paying $1.85 for a win with Ladbrokes.com.au, have 10 players backing up from the impressive 23 – 16 trouncing they gave to Queensland down in Sydney in game three last year, which will no doubt add to their confidence.

One such player is Eels’ fullback Jarryd Hayne, who this year is appearing in his fourth Origin series. Hayne, described as a freak and magician when it comes to his entertaining plays, will start on the wing for NSW tonight after failing to usurp the Blue’s No. 1 jersey from NSW skipper Kurt Gidley.

With the game plans of Blues coach Craig Bellamy still under wraps, word on the street is that Hayne is likely to switch to fullback throughout tonight’s match as Gidley plays in dummy-half.

The Blues do have two players on debut, Jamal Idris and Brett Morris, who will bring a fresh injection of speed and skill to the team.

New South Wales will also be taking advantage of the club connections they have on the field this year, including three Dragons’ players on the left side with Morris, Cooper and Creagh. Together this trio from St George Illawarra form a dangerous combination that Queensland will have to keep an eye on, who are very capable of scoring plenty of points.

They also have Bulldogs teammates Michael Ennis (hooker) and Brett Kimmorley (halfback) who will be working off each other.

The Queensland club combos suffered a blow with Smith ruled out of game one, which leaves Billy Slater and Greg Inglis from Melbourne. But with Inglis suffering a sickening head clash with Tonga in training earlier in the week, even this duo looks somewhat weakened.

Despite the brave face they are portraying to the media, the Maroons will be feeling under pressure and less confident than ever heading into this mighty battle.

However, with huge talents such as second rowers Sam Thaiday and Nate Myles, as well as a strong left-side combination of Israel Folau and Willie Tonga, Queensland shouldn’t be forgotten just yet.

With cold, rainy conditions expected to intensify the pressure of tonight’s showdown, this one will come down to a battle between the forwards.

Replacement No. 9 for Queensland, Matt Ballin, will have to step up and make his Origin debut a beauty if he and other front rowers Civoniceva and Scott are to hold off the assault Blues forwards Michael Weyman, Ennis and Josh Perry have planned.

And with New South Wales second rower Ben Creagh’s sights set on Maroons captain Darren Lockyer, and a proposal for the Blues to target Thurston and put the pressure on his injured shoulder, the biff could definitely be on tonight!

Aggression worked for the Blues in the series final last year, so expect them to bring the same hostile tactics tonight. The Maroons have a tough battle on their hands and if they are to reign supreme must assert themselves and match New South Wales hard-line approach.

Get the latest Rugby League Betting odds for the Origin, stay up-to-date with breaking Origin news, and get the results after each game at State of Origin Betting.

And for the most competitive State of Origin odds and exclusive range of wagers check out Ladbrokes.com.au, new customers will even enjoy a free $100 bet they can use on the Origin tonight!