2024 State of Origin: Game 1 Preview, Blues Vs Maroons

Check out the match preview and prediction for State of Origin game 1 between New South Wales and Queensland.



New South Wales Blues Vs Queensland Maroons
Venue: Accor Stadium, Sydney
Date: Wednesday June 5, 8:05pm


Blues (from): James Tedesco (Sydney Roosters), Brian To’o (Penrith Panthers), Stephen Crichton (Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs), Joseph Sua’ali’i (Sydney Roosters), Zac Lomax (St George Illawarra Dragons), Jarome Luai (Penrith Panthers), Nicholas Hynes (Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks), Jake Trbojevic (c) (Manly Warringah Sea Eagles), Reece Robson (North Queensland Cowboys), Payne Haas (Brisbane Broncos), Liam Martin (Penrith Panthers), Angus Crichton (Sydney Roosters), Cameron McInnes (Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks), Isaah Yeo (Penrith Panthers), Haumole Olakau’atu (Manly Warringah Sea Eagles), Spencer Leniu (Sydney Roosters), Hudson Young (Canberra Raiders), Matt Burton (Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs), Luke Keary (Sydney Roosters), Mitchell Barnett (Warriors)

Note: Dylan Edward (Penrith Panthers) ruled out on Sunday June 2, replaced by James Tedesco (Sydney Roosters)

Maroons (from): Reece Walsh (Brisbane Broncos), Xavier Coates (Melbourne Storm), Valentine Holmes (North Queensland Cowboys), Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow (The Dolphins), Murray Taulagi (North Queensland Cowboys), Tom Dearden (North Queensland Cowboys), Daly Cherry-Evans (C) (Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles), Reuben Cotter (North Queensland Cowboys), Ben Hunt (St George Illawarra Dragons), Lindsay Collins (Sydney Roosters), Jaydn Su’A  (St George Illawarra Dragons), Jeremiah Nanai  (North Queensland Cowboys), Patrick Carrigan (Brisbane Broncos), Harry Grant (Melbourne Storm), Moeaki Fotuaika (Gold Coast Titans), J’maine Hopgood  (Parramatta Eels), Selwyn Cobbo (Brisbane Broncos), Felise Kaufusi (The Dolphins), Brendan Piakura (Brisbane Broncos), Ezra Mam (Brisbane Broncos)

Referee: to be advised

Embed from Getty Images


Rivalry in sport is an incredibly powerful force. While we define our highs by when our team wins – the truth is that we often get as much joy from seeing the other team lose.

It State of Origin, that force is increased to a greater level than in any other fixture in Australian sport. It makes fans of the Broncos, and the Cowboys pull on the same maroon jumper, and it makes fans of the Roosters and the Rabbitohs pull on the same blue one. It makes them find common ground in their desire to see the other state lose.

This year, Origin enters a new era. The New South Wales Blues are now under the coaching of Michael Maguire and the captaincy of Jake Trbojevic – two men renowned for their utter dedication to hard work. The side selected reflects that ethos too. New boys Dylan Edwards (ruled out June 2 – replaced by James Tedesco), Cameron McInnes and Spencer Leniu don’t often play a part in the highlight-reel moments, but we’re yet to see a single one of them take a backwards step on a footy field.

If their physicality can lay the platform, the responsibility to put points on the board rests on the shoulders of Nicho Hynes. The halfback has been handed the keys to this side and will have command over the attacking weapons of Haumole Olakau’atu, Stephen Crichton and Joseph Aukuso-Suaalii in a game where he has the opportunity to silence those who say he can’t perform in the big games.

With no utilities selected on the bench, the gameplan for the Blues is clear. Outwork the Maroons, win the tackles, and dominate the opposition forward pack. With the talent of Nathan Cleary and Tom Trbojevic unavailable, that route one gameplan makes sense. If injuries or sin-bins play little to no part, the Blues’ physicality will be near-impossible to stop.

But there’s an aspect of Origin that throws logic like that out of the window. Queenslanders like to call it ‘Queensland Spirit’, whilst New South Welshmen prefer terms like ‘freak luck’ or ‘having the better side’. But there’s no denying that it’s there, and Billy Slater knows exactly how to harness it. It’s the kind of thing that could see the Maroons win the physical battle despite their significantly smaller bench.

If they do match the Blues in that department, it’s a 17 with an incredible amount of talent. Reece Walsh, Xavier Coates and Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow have the speed and X-factor to cause immense damage in this game – particularly when guided around by the steady hand of captain Daly Cherry-Evans. Despite their adoration of the ‘underdog’ tag, Queensland rightfully come into this as favourites for both the game and the series.

A Queensland win in Sydney would go an extremely long way to a Queensland win in the series. A series win would be their third in a row and constitute a new period of genuine origin dominance for the Maroons. This game is big enough in itself but it has connotations that go far beyond these 80 minutes. So, sit back, it’s time for the incredible rivalry that is State of Origin.


Overall: Played 129, Queensland 70 wins, New South Wales 57 wins, 2 draws.
Last Decade (since 2014): Played 30, Queensland 16 (avg 16.5 ppg), New South Wales 14 (avg 18.7 ppg)
Game 1 record (since 2014): Queensland 6 (avg 12.5 ppg), New South Wales 4 (avg 18.2 ppg)
Record at Accor Stadium (since 2014): Played 10, New South Wales 6 (avg 16.6 ppg), Queensland 4 (avg 12.3 ppg)
Biggest New South Wales win (since 2014): 44 pts, 50-6 at Queensland Country Bank Stadium, June 9 2021 (game 1)
Biggest Queensland win (since 2014): 46 pts, 52-6 at Suncorp Stadium July 8 2015 (game 3)
Last 10: New South Wales 6 (avg 16.4 ppg), Queensland 4 (avg 22.2 ppg)
Last 5: New South Wales 3 (avg 20.4 ppg), Queensland 2 (avg 20.8 ppg)

Player Records

State of Origin Match Experience: Queensland 134 games (3 players in squad yet to debut), New South Wales 110 games (5 players in squad yet to debut)
Players with more than 10 Origin games selected in game 1 squads: 22 Daly Cherry-Evans (Queensland), James Tedesco (New South Wales); 17 Ben Hunt (Queensland); 16 Jake Trbojevic (New South Wales), Valentine Holmes (Queensland); 14 Felise Kaufusi (Queensland); 11 Payne Haas (New South Wales), Angus Crichton (New South Wales), Isaah Yeo (New South Wales)
Most points scored in Origin selected in game 1 squads (more than 10 Origin points): 110 Valentine Holmes (Queensland); 28 James Tedesco (New South Wales); 20 Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow (Queensland); 18 Daly Cherry Evans (Queensland); 16 Brian To’o (New South Wales); 14 Stephen Crichton (New South Wales); 12 Ben Hunt (Queensland), Xavier Coates (Queensland)
Most tries scored in Origin selected in game 1 squads (more than 3 Origin tries): 13 Valentine Holmes (Queensland); 7 James Tedesco (New South Wales); 5 Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow (Queensland); 4 Brian To’o (New South Wales); 3 Ben Hunt (Queensland), Xavier Coates (Queensland)
First try scorer in an Origin game selected in game 1 squads: 6 Valentine Holmes (Queensland); 2 Felise Kaufusi (Queensland), James Tedesco (New South Wales); 1 Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow (Queensland), Xavier Coates (Queensland)


Matt PritchardAndrew PelechatyDylan JhugrooLachlan JefferyMatt Attard
WinnerNSW by 4QLD by 10NSW by 2QLD by 6QLD by 12
First TryValentine HolmesHamiso Tabuai-FidowXavier CoatesMurray TaulagiHamiso Tabuai-Fidow
Man of the MatchJake TrbojevicBen HuntCameron McInnesDaly Cherry-EvansDaly Cherry-Evans
Jem NashBrendan WoodMathew WilliamsShannon MeyerNathan Smith
WinnerQLD by 10QLD by 4QLD by 10QLD by 8NSW by 8
First TryXavier CoatesJeremiah NanaiReece WalshHamiso Tabuai-FidowBrian To’o
Man of the MatchPat CarriganTom DeardenReuben CotterPat CarriganJames Tedesco

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