Every Origin game is as important as the last and the possible consequences of winning or losing could shape the future of some players at Origin level. We take a look at some of the stories that could come out of Origin I.
If QLD win
It’ll be a huge confidence boost for the new kids on the block.
Due to injuries to Johnathan Thurston, Greg Inglis and Matt Scott, coach Kevin Walters has been forced to bring in debutants Dylan Napa, Anthony Milford and Jarrod Wallace.
At face value it looks like a considerably weaker side than what we’re used to seeing, but make no mistake; these guys are ready to rumble.
If they can beat the Blues at Suncorp on Wednesday night, it’ll be a huge boost for the trio, particularly Milford who will be under the most pressure.
It could spell the end of Slater’s Origin career.
The decision to play Darius Boyd over Billy Slater is a huge gamble, but deSpite the doubt, Boyd is a strong option for fullback.
Slater was humble in his demotion, and if the Maroons win and if Boyd performs well, it very well could be the end of his scintillating Origin career.
It’s an unfortunate reality however the silver lining for Slater is that he would be able to concentrate all his energy solely into the Storm’s premiership aspiration.
NSW will have to make some important decisions for the future depending on the result
The Blues are prone to making hasty changes to their lineup whenever they lose. They’ve gone through more halves than Australia has prime ministers in the last five years, and it’s obvious in their results.
However, one move I think that could really eventuate is the sacking of coach Laurie Daley if the Blues lose the series.
While he did take the Blues to their first series win in 8 years back in 2014, the rest of his Origin career has been loss after loss after loss.
If the Maroons win game one it’ll put some serious pressure on the coach and the roster he has, and very well could spell the end of Laurie.
If NSW win
QLD will be rushing to bring JT back
Maroons fans will be praying their superstar will be back on the field come game two, and if they lose game one, a lot could come down to the performance of the halves.
Thurston has been nothing short of brilliant for Queensland over the past decade and there’s a reason why he has played 36 straight Origin games since his debut until now.
He’s a huge loss and NSW will be making sure they can capitalise on it come Wednesday night.
They’ll be one more step closer to ending QLD’s dominance and building a new Blue era.
With the second game of the series being held in Sydney, the Blues will be on a high if they can defeat the Maroons in the Cauldron.
It’s a rare feat to come away with a win at Suncorp Stadium even for NRL sides, so with the whole of Queensland against you in a 50,000 strong arena, you can believe it’s all the more difficult.
But it’s fair to say that Queensland have fielded their weakest side in years, and it’s an opportunity the Blues need to take with two hands in order to begin an era of dominance. Can they do it? Only time will tell.
Mitchell Pearce has the chance to be a part of the ultimate redemption story
Dare I say the most hated man to ever wear a NSW jersey has the best opportunity to undo the shackles and write himself in the record books.
Pearce has been the victim of many an angry Blues fan, including myself, however, he has the perfect chance to prove his doubters wrong by leading the Blues to victory, and it all starts this Wednesday night.
The ultimate rugby league redemption story is ready to be written, and we just need to see Pearce rise above the rest.
The Blues will be hinging on his club form and partnership with five-eighth James Maloney to bring home the silverware.
At 27 years of age and in the prime of his career, it’s time for Pearce to shine. If not, he’ll be thrown into the scrap heap as the most infamous Blue of them all.