Tonight the 101st clash between the New South Wales Blues and Queensland Maroons takes place at ANZ Stadium for Game 2 of the 2014 Holden State Of Origin Series where the boys South of the Tweed are short priced favourites.
Queensland has dominated the Origin arena over the past eight years with their historical succession of series wins.
Check out the Origin Footy Freaks markets at Ladbrokes.com.au including Jarryd Haney to Score & NSW Win paying $3.50!
While the build-up to Origin I this year was totally Maroons-focused, the 100th showdown turned out to be a down-to-the-wire thriller won by the underdogs with the Blues taking it out 12 – 8.
Queensland struggled for cohesion and their usually tight teamwork after Cooper Cronk was ruled out 10 minutes in with a broken arm.
Johnathan Thurston also had a near career-worst rep game and the side just failed to put it all together.
The Blues meanwhile soared and pulled out some incredible work both in attack and defense thanks primarily to an out of this world performance from fullback Jarryd Hayne.
The lead-up to Origin II then has been focused on New South Wales who lead Game Two head-to-head markets at $1.65 with Queensland out to $1.65 at Ladbrokes.com.au.
The eight-straight series defenders certainly have a host of setbacks and historical hoodoos to overcome.
They’ve been hit hard with injuries galore and are still sweating on the fitness of Greg Inglis and Daly Cherry-Evans both fighting knee issues and both given until kick-off tonight to play.
While Billy Slater has overcome his shoulder issue and will play the team will be without a host of others including Corey Parker (face fracture), Josh Papalii (ankle) and Will Chambers who suffered a cut to his leg in Melbourne’s 24 – 20 win over the Titans on Monday night.
The Cane Toads though love to be underrated and so below we take a look at the pros and cons of ruling them out of setting up a do-or-die decider in Origin III in three weeks’ time.
Why Queensland Will Win 2014 State Of Origin Game 2
- Have won the past eight series and won’t be letting go of that easily
QLD has won seven Game 2 games since 2004
- Get some talent back from Sam Thaiday who missed game one
- Billy Slater cleared to play and Greg Inglis likely to also line-up
- Will be more prepared to play with Cronk out this time with Daly Cherry-Evans training with the starting line-up this time
- If Cherry-Evans plays at halfback will be dynamic like he was in Round 13 setting up a trio of tries for Manly to beat the Doggies
- Kick-chase from NSW was only average last time out so if Slater can keep his kick returns up there they’ll get a nice advantage metre wise there
- Perform best when they’ve got the underdog status
- Plenty of talent on the bench including Jacob Lillyman who has lots of running in his legs to help them over the line territory-wise
- Hold the statistical advantage head-to-head with 53 wins from 100 played (NSW 45, Drawn 2)
- Have won seven Game 2 games in the past 10 years
- Since 2004 have scored over 20 points seven times for six wins; Blues have done it just once (32 – 22 victory in 2005)
Why New South Wales Will Win 2014 State Of Origin Game 2 (and the series!)
- They put in a massive effort without a confident lead-up in Game I and will have drawn strength from that
NSW has won 12 of the past 17 Game 2 matches played in Sydney
- Won in Queensland last time and get the home ground (and sell-out crowd) advantage here
- Jarryd Hayne – Man of the Match in the opener, can he do it again? Left JT for dead in Game 1 with Thurston having had seven misses in defence including two on Hayne
- Greg Bird returns from suspension
- Josh Dugan and Will Hopoate get a call-up to replace the Morris twins and will be ready to fire out wide
- Could just be their time
- Haven’t lost at home in Game 2 on the back of a Game 1 loss in 27 years
- Injuries, injuries, injuries including loss of Parker, Papalii and Chambers for their opponents
- Halves combo of Josh Reynolds and Trent Hodkinson were outstanding in Game 1 and if they keep their cool here will be setting up plenty of four pointers again
- Defensively very good in Game 1 limiting Queensland to just one player (Nate Myles) with over 100 running metres
- Up the middle there’s plenty to like with the inclusion of Gallen, Tamou, Woods and Merrin charging it up
- From 17 Game 2 fixtures played in NSW they have won 12 (Maroons 5)
Wherever your allegiances lie this State Of Origin there’s a market to tickle your fancy online at Ladbrokes.com.au who are offering everything from margin betting, handicap markets, scoring play odds, tries markets, try scorers betting and other novely markets including whether there will be a 40/20 kick.
Their best State Of Origin betting offer though is their Footy Freaks markets. If the “freak” scores a try and their team wins the game you will receive the promo odds on that combo up to $100!
State Of Origin Game Two – Footy Freaks Odds
Jarryd Hayne to score at any time and New South Wales to win $3.5
Josh Dugan to score at any time and New South Wales to win $4.5
Josh Reynolds to score at any time and New South Wales to win $7
Greg Inglis to score at any time and Queensland to win $5
Darius Boyd to score at any time and Queensland to win $5
Johnathan Thurston to score at any time and Queensland to win $11
*All odds provided by Ladbrokes.com.au and subject to change