With the series on the line, New South Wales make the challenge trip to Suncorp Stadium to topple the high-flying Queenslanders.
Queensland Maroons Vs New South Wales Blues
Venue: Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
Date: Wednesday June 21, 8:05pm
MATCHDAY TEAM NEWS
Queensland Maroons: 1. Reece Walsh (Brisbane Broncos), 2. Xavier Coates (Melbourne Storm), 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. Lindsay Collins (Sydney Roosters), 9. Ben Hunt (St George Illawarra Dragons), 10. Tino Fa’asuamaleaui (Gold Coast Titans), 11. David Fifita (Gold Coast Titans), 12. Jeremiah Nanai (North Queensland Cowboys), 13. Patrick Carrigan (Brisbane Broncos), 14. Harry Grant (Melbourne Storm), 15. Thomas Flegler (Brisbane Broncos), 16. Reuben Cotter (North Queensland Cowboys), 17. Moeaki Fotuaika (Gold Coast Titans), 18. AJ Brimson (Gold Coast Titans), 19. Corey Horsburgh (Canberra Raiders). Coach: Billy Slater (announced June 12, 2023)
New South Wales 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. Mitchell Moses (Parramatta Eels), 8. Junior Paulo (Parramatta Eels), 9. Damien Cook (South Sydney Rabbitohs), 10. Payne Haas (Brisbane Broncos), 11. Tyson Frizell (Newcastle Knights), 12. Hudson Young (Canberra Raiders), 13. Isaah Yeo (Penrith Panthers), 14. Stefano Utoikamanu (Wests Tigers), 15. Cameron Murray (South Sydney Rabbitohs), 16. Liam Martin (Penrith Panthers), 17. Reece Robson (North Queensland Cowboys), 18. Stephen Crichton (Penrith Panthers), 19. Keaon Koloamatangi (South Sydney Rabbitohs). Coach: Brad Fittler (announced June 13, 2023)
Referee: Ashley KleinEmbed from Getty Images
After a thrilling win in Game I in Adelaide three weeks ago, Queensland enter the second State of Origin in Brisbane as warm favourites to wrap up the series. New South Wales head up to a hostile Suncorp Stadium needing to win to keep the series alive, a feat they have only ever achieved once (in 1998).
Queensland unsurprisingly have the dominant record at the venue, having won 38 of the 59 games there, including 19 of the 26 games since the stadium was redeveloped in 2003. They have also won five of the past six games there, the only loss being the 26-0 thrashing in Game II of the 2021 series.
Billy Slater has been forced to make three changes to the Maroons side that claimed victory in Adelaide, with Tom Gilbert, Jai Arrow, and Selwyn Cobbo all out with injury. Jeremiah Nanai will start in the back row after missing Game I due to suspension, Moeaki Fotuaika returns to the side for the first time since 2021 from the bench, while Xavier Coates takes Cobbo’s place on the wing. Reuben Cotter has been named to start from the bench, but may swap with Lindsay Collins before kick-off, as they did in Adelaide. AJ Brimson has been named as the side’s 18th man.
New South Wales coach Brad Fittler has made four changes of his own to the side that lost in Adelaide. Damien Cook returns to the starting side with Apisai Koroisau injured. Mitchell Moses will replace the injured Nathan Cleary after pipping Nicho Hynes for the halfback role. Stefano Utoikamanu and Reece Robson will both debut from the bench, replacing Tevita Pangai Junior and Hynes respectively. Latrell Mitchell was named for the Blues on Tuesday but will again be kept out with a calf injury, again replaced by Stephen Crichton, with Matt Burton rejoining the side as 18th man. Reports emerged on Saturday that Robson is likely to start the game, with Cook coming off the bench.
Keaon Koloamatangi is also in camp as 19th man with Cameron Murray and Liam Martin racing the clock to play, however both are expected to do so.
Queensland’s forward pack completely outclassed their opposition in Game I, highlighted by Reuben Cotter’s player of the match effort and Lindsay Collins outleaping James Tedesco for the match-winning try. On what is expected to be a fast, dry track, the Maroons forwards will need to be at that level again if they are to wrap up the series.
New South Wales captain James Tedesco admitted that he overplayed his hand during the Game I loss, while his teammates felt they let him down. In front of a hostile Brisbane crowd, they will need to improve after only three forwards ran for more than 100 metres in Adelaide, while their defence will have to be at its very best if they want to force a decider in Sydney in three weeks’ time.
LAST TEN MATCHES
Queensland 6, New South Wales 4
|Matt Pritchard||Andrew Pelechaty||Dylan Jhugroo||Mark Barnes||Nathan Smith|
|Winner||QLD by 18||QLD by 20||NSW by 4||NSW by 4||NSW by 1|
|First Try||Murray Taulagi||Valentine Holmes||Xavier Coates||Tom Trbojevic||Tom Trbojevic|
|Man of the Match||Daly Cherry-Evans||Cameron Munster||James Tedesco||James Tedesco||Jarome Luai|
|Brendan Wood||Shannon Meyer||Jem Nash||Lachlan Jeffery||Mathew Williams|
|Winner||QLD by 1||QLD by 14||QLD by 14||QLD by 12||NSW by 6|
|First Try||Murray Taulagi||Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow||Valentine Holmes||Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow||Brian To’o|
|Man of the Match||Ben Hunt||Cameron Munster||Cameron Munster||Ben Hunt||Mitch Moses|
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