Date: Monday June 1 2015
Venue: Allianz Stadium
Kick-Off: 7pm AEST
Roosters: 1. Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, 2. Daniel Tupou, 3. Michael Jennings, 4. Mitchell Aubusson, 5. Shaun Kenny-Dowall, 6. James Maloney, 7. Mitchell Pearce ©, 8. Jared Waerea-Hargreaves, 9. Jake Friend ©, 10. Sam Moa, 11. Boyd Cordner, 12. Aiden Guerra, 13. Isaac Liu, 14. Jackson Hastings, 15. Sio Siua Taukeiaho, 16. Kane Evans, 17. Dylan Napa.
Coach – Trent Robinson
Storm: 1. Billy Slater, 2. Mahe Fonua, 3. Will Chambers, 4. Kurt Mann, 5. Marika Koroibete, 6. Blake Green, 7. Cooper Cronk, 8. Jesse Bromwich, 9. Cameron Smith ©, 10. Tim Glasby, 11. Kevin Proctor, 12. Tohu Harris, 13. Dale Finucane, 14. Ryan Hinchcliffe, 15. Kenny Bromwich, 16. Dayne Weston, 17. Felise Kaufusi, 18. Christian Welch, 19. Ben Hampton, 20. Hymel Hunt.
Coach – Craig Bellamy
In the wake of Origin I, a slew of Origin stars will once again be on display in this encounter between two of the competitions elite sides.
The Storm, currently residing atop the NRL ladder, have four Queensland stars named to back up, and there was a clear Melbourne flavour to the Queensland victory. Chambers amassed 260 metres and also scored a try in a fabulous effort, Cooper Cronk scored the opening try of the contest as well as the match winning field goal, while Cameron Smith was named man of the match.
Over in Sydney, the Roosters, fifth on the ladder, have five players backing up, though only Aiden Guerra will be wearing a smile on his face. Daniel Tupou, Michael Jennings, Mitchell Pearce and Boyd Cordner left licking their wounds having turned out in the blue jumper. Tupou and Jennings failed to fire for the Blues, Cordner and Pearce were solid but unspectacular. Certainly the Chooks group were outgunned by their Storm counterparts. Fortunately there’s little in the way of injuries to report, and with the game on Monday night we should hopefully see all of the Origin representatives in full flight for what is a blockbuster game. Along with the nine Origin players who were in action Wednesday night, this game features a further eight players who have played Origin or turned out in test matches for New Zealand.
With representative quality matchups across the board. Duelling Origin centres Michael Jennings and Will Chambers, Origin halves Cooper Cronk and Mitchell Pearce, Kiwi props Jesse Bromwich and Sam Moa, the Roosters pair of Origin second rowers Boyd Cordner and Aiden Guerra, the Storm’s Kiwi second row of Tohu Harris and Kevin Proctor, there’s match winners across the park. Most exciting for me is the clash of the international fullbacks. Queensland and Australian ace Billy Slater, arguably the greatest fullback of all time, Dally M Fullback of the Year winner in 2008 who still now at the age of 31 is yet to slow down. Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, 22 year old Kiwi sensation, Dally M Winger of the year in 2013 who has stepped into the shoes of Roosters legend Anthony Minichiello seamlessly with some of the most beautiful footwork the game has ever seen. It doesn’t get much better than this.
Prediction: The bookies have given the Roosters a handicap of 6.5, I give the edge to the Roosters, but think Melbourne will keep this close, so I’ll be backing the Roosters 1-12. These sides have been stout defensively throughout the year, ranking second and third in points conceded, so expect a tight, hard fought contest with an eye to total points under bets as well.