Sportsbet’s Rugby League writer Joel Caine who is a retired professional rugby league footballer previews Wednesday nights State Of Origin Game 1 match.
Joel Caine’s Preview:
I’m not sure where the Sportsbet traders were for Game Three last year, or for the last 10 years for that matter, but it had to be a place with no TV’s or internet connection because, for months on end now, the BLUES ARE STILL EMPHATIC Favourites!
Forget about Mate against Mate and State against State, the biggest battle thus far has been off the field. It’s been an old fashioned stoush between the bookie and the punters, the punters have been throwing three out of every four jabs (or dollars) on the Sportsbet chin (aka the Maroons). Meanwhile, Sportsbet are holding their guard up by way of remaining firm about the $1.85 for the New South Welshmen and, despite the weight of money, the traders continue to dangle the $2.00 out about the reigning champs – who boast no fewer than two or three eventual immortals. That’s showing a Maroon rag to a bull (I’m sure they would respond in a similar fashion)!
At time of writing, 75% of all head-to-head dollars had been lumped on QLD. In the Big Win Little Win market (Margin Betting) the bulk of the Sportsbet punters aren’t just expecting them to win but to win big with almost half the hold plonked on a 13+ QLD Victory.
Five reasons why the Blues can win
- The new halves pairing in Reynolds and Maloney are bold, cheeky competitors who have each won a premiership, so can handle the big moments
- The Blues come into this with a ball-playing fullback named Matt Moylan
- On paper should win the battle up front based on the size of their pack. But as we know its not the size of the dog in the fight but the size of the fight in the dog
- Four debutantes who haven’t been a part of the last decade of Blues sorrow
- If Cooper Cronk plays, he appears not to be 100%. If he doesn’t play then huge bonus. The sole series victory in recent times which came in 2014 was the result of Cronk’s time being limited. In fact, at no point in that series were the Blues ever in front on the scoreboard whilst Cronk was on the field that year.
Five reasons why the Maroons can win
How would I spend $100 on the match?
$50 Maroons H2H @ $2.00 – To me this is a terrific price. With the class and experience, I think the Maroons still have the edge despite being the away side.
$30 Maroons Little Win (1-12) @ $2.90 – Traditionally game one is tight. The last five years the series opener has been decided by eight points or less.
$10 Michael Jennings First Try Scorer @ $12 – Plays his 16th Origin, experienced. Scoring at a good run rate so far this year too. Big game player and has scored in each of his last two Origin matches including being the First Try Scorer in the 2nd game last year. Has scored at this venue in a Grand Final also ironically scurrying through off a James Maloney grubber who he reacquaints again with.
$10 Matt Gillett First Try Scorer @ $20 – Another who will be ready to roll from the get-go, who enters his fifth season as an Origin player. Has only scored in two of his 12 origins but they were in his last two. On a hatrick. Great Roughie.
Queensland Maroons team:
1. Darius Boyd, 2. Corey Oates, 3. Greg Inglis, 4. Justin O’Neill, 5. Dane Gagai, 6. Johnathan Thurston, 7. Cooper Cronk*, 8. Matt Scott, 9. Cameron Smith, 10. Nate Myles, 11. Matt Gillett, 12. Sam Thaiday, 13. Corey Parker
Interchange: 14. Michael Morgan, 15. Josh McGuire, 16. Aidan Guerra, 17. Josh Papalii
New South Wales Blues team:
1. Matt Moylan, 2. Blake Ferguson, 3. Michael Jennings, 4. Josh Morris*, 5. Josh Mansour, 6. James Maloney, 7. Adam Reynolds, 8. Aaron Woods, 9. Robbie Farah, 10. Paul Gallen, 11. Boyd Cordner, 12. Josh Jackson, 13. Greg Bird
Interchange: 14. Dylan Walker, 15. James Tamou, 16. David Klemmer, 17. Andrew Fifita