2023 State of Origin Game 1 Preview, Predictions: Maroons Vs Blues

Andrew Pelechaty previews the opening game of the 2023 Origin series.



Queensland Maroons Vs New South Wales Blues
Venue: Adelaide Oval, Adelaide
Date: Wednesday May 31, 8:05pm


Maroons: 1. Reece Walsh (Brisbane Broncos), 2. Selwyn Cobbo (Brisbane Broncos), 3. Valentine Holmes (North Queensland Cowboys), 4. Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow (The Dolphins), 5. Murray Taulagi (North Queensland Cowboys), 6. Cameron Munster (Melbourne Storm), 7. Daly Cherry-Evans (c) (Manly Warringah Sea Eagles), 8. Thomas Flegler (Brisbane Broncos), 9. Ben Hunt (St George Illawarra Dragons), 10. Lindsay Collins (Sydney Roosters), 11. Tom Gilbert (The Dolphins), 12. David Fifita (Gold Coast Titans), 13. Patrick Carrigan (Brisbane Broncos), 14. Harry Grant (Melbourne Storm), 15. Tino Fa’asuamaleaui (Gold Coast Titans), 16. Reuben Cotter (North Queensland Cowboys), 17. Jai Arrow (South Sydney Rabbitohs), 18. Tom Dearden (North Queensland Cowboys), 19. Christian Welch (Melbourne Storm). 

Blues: 1. James Tedesco (c) (Sydney Roosters), 2. Brian To’o (Penrith Panthers), 3. Latrell Mitchell (South Sydney Rabbitohs), 4. Tom Trbojevic (Manly Warringah Sea Eagles), 5. Josh Addo-Carr (Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs), 6. Jarome Luai (Penrith Panthers), 7. Nathan Cleary (Penrith Panthers), 8. Tevita Pangai Junior (Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs), 9. Apisai Koroisau (Wests Tigers), 10. Payne Haas (Brisbane Broncos), 11. Tyson Frizell (Newcastle Knights), 12. Hudson Young (Canberra Raiders), 13. Isaah Yeo (Penrith Panthers), 14. Junior Paulo (Parramatta Eels), 15. Cameron Murray (South Sydney Rabbitohs), 16. Liam Martin (Penrith Panthers), 17. Nicho Hynes (Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks), 18. Stephen Crichton (Penrith Panthers), 19. Stefano Utoikamanu (Wests Tigers). 

Referee: Ashley Klein

Embed from Getty Images


State of Origin returns to Adelaide, with the “City of Churches” hosting the 2023 opener.

South Australian footy fans copped a raw deal in 2020, with the Origin series moved to November due to Covid-19, a time when South Australia are playing Shield or domestic one day cricket at the Adelaide Oval.

While Adelaide is unlikely to have another NRL team (25 years after the Rams), what will the crowd be like? Will it match the 25,218 who saw Queensland win 18-14 in 2020?

Queensland had two tight wins in Sydney (16-10) and Brisbane (22-12) last year, while NSW won 44-12 in Perth

Queensland has retained fourteen players from that series. Though there are some surprising omissions in Kalyn Ponga, Kurt Capewell, and Dane Gagai, with Reece Walsh making his debut.

New South Wales will have six players from the twice-defending premiers Penrith (including Stephen Crichton as a late inclusion for Campbell Graham), and have three debutants: 2022 Dally M Medallist Nicho Hynes (Cronulla-Sutherland), Bulldogs prop Tevita Pangai Junior (Canterbury-Bankstown), and Canberra back-rower Hudson Young (Canberra). Tom Trbojevic is back after his hat-trick in Canberra in Round 12. Though there’s no Damien Cook at hooker, replaced by Api Koroisau. Jake Trbojevic was ruled out of the series on Tuesday (March 25). Canberra’s Jack Wighton (NSW) and Josh Papalii (QLD) both announced their Origin retirements before the squads were named.

The record at neutral venues is interesting:

  • NSW lead 7-5 at neutral venues.
  • Queensland leads 3-1 when the neutral game is first.
  • NSW lead 3-2 as the ‘away’ team at the neutral venue (Origin 1 is a designated Queensland home game).
  • The winner of a first game at neutral venue has gone on to win the series all four times.

If Queensland win in Adelaide, they can wrap up the series at Lang Park on June 21. But if NSW win, they have the advantage of a potential Homebush decider.

While NSW will have the Penrith combination of Jarome Luai and Nathan Cleary again, Queensland’s experienced and stable line-up should do enough here.


Maroons 5, Blues 5


Matt PritchardAndrew PelechatyDylan JhugrooMark BarnesMatt AttardNathan Smith
WinnerNSW by 8QLD by 2NSW by 6NSW by 12QLD by 12NSW by 8
First TryTyson FrizellSelwyn CobboLatrell MitchellTom TrbojevicSelwyn CobboBrian To’o
Man of the MatchHudson YoungDaly Cherry-EvansLatrell MitchellJames TedescoCameron MunsterLatrell Mitchell
Brendan WoodDebra SherwoodShannon MeyerJem NashLachlan JefferyMathew Williams
WinnerNSW by 4NSW by 14QLD by 4QLD by 2NSW by 6NSW by 10
First TryMurray TaulagiNicho HynesHamiso Tabuai-FidowSelwyn CobboLatrell MitchellValentine Holmes
Man of the MatchNathan ClearyNicho HynesPat CarriganBen HuntTom TrbojevicNathan Cleary

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Comments (1)

  1. Avatar

    I think the maroons backline has a strong attacking advantage over the NSW for game 1

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