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Sport NSW legend stunned by Maroons star's axing

04:51  22 june  2021
04:51  22 june  2021 Source:   wwos.nine.com.au

Maroons facing headache as injuries hit

  Maroons facing headache as injuries hit Queensland are facing a selection headache ahead of naming their team for State of Origin II with Harry Grant a doubt and AJ Brimson sidelined.The hooker will undergo scans on a hamstring injury on Monday morning with Storm medical staff on the Sunshine Coast before the Maroons' team for game two is named but must be considered a huge doubt to be picked by Paul Green.

NSW great Peter Sterling says he was stunned by Queensland's decision to drop flying winger Xavier Coates for State of Origin II.

Coates' axing was somewhat overshadowed by the Maroons' bombshell selection of 18-year-old fullback Reece Walsh, even though it was a direct consequence. Walsh replaced Valentine Holmes at No.1, with Holmes then moved into Coates' wing position.

"To me, that's huge. If he's not in the best two wingers in Queensland, then I'm a very, very poor judge," Sterling said on Wide World of Sports' Sterlo's Wrap.

"Obviously his club side [Brisbane] is struggling and maybe there was some defensive issues in game one but to be honest, I thought he'd be one of their first players chosen."

What Blues have that could make Walsh 'buckle'

  What Blues have that could make Walsh 'buckle' Peter Sterling has joined the chorus of concern for 18-year-old Reece Walsh following his shock selection for Origin II. "He's exploded onto the scene but we've seen players buckle under the pressure of Origin," Sterling told Wide World of Sports' Sterlo's Wrap. "We've seen some that haven't come out of the experience that well and did affect them for a period of time during their careers.

Jai Arrow et al. posing for the camera: Xavier Coates (C) was dropped by Queensland for Origin II. © Getty Xavier Coates (C) was dropped by Queensland for Origin II.

Coates was terrorised by Latrell Mitchell and Brian To'o while defending on the right wing, with the NSW centre/wing pair scoring a combined four tries. However, he was a breakout star of Queensland's shock series win last year, scoring in his first two matches.

Debutant winger Kyle Feldt also had a tough outing for Queensland in Origin I, yet kept his spot for Sunday's must-win game two in Brisbane. Cronulla winger Ronaldo Mulitalo was named 19th man, in a further snub to Coates.

"Kyle Feldt probably was a little bit fortunate there," Sterling said.

a man with a football ball in front of a crowd: Xavier Coates and Brian To'o of compete for the ball during game one of the State of Origin series. © Getty Xavier Coates and Brian To'o of compete for the ball during game one of the State of Origin series.

All eyes will be on Walsh when Origin II kicks off. The Warriors fullback has played just seven NRL games, making him the second-least experienced player in Queensland Origin history.

"Big ask for a young man but he's obviously revelled in the pressure of NRL football," Sterling said.

"Now he's got to take that into a bigger stage. It will be a crowd that will make it much easier for him but you've still got to get the job done."

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State of Origin: NRL legends question Paul Green's future as QLD Maroons coach .
Paul Green's future as QLD Maroons coach is in jeopardy, after his side was again humiliated in Game II of the State of Origin series. Following a 50-6 defeat in Townsville in the series opener, NSW again proved too strong at Suncorp Stadium on Sunday night, running out 26-0 victors. It was the first time a Maroons outfit had been held scoreless at the famous venue, with a series whitewash seemingly on the cards as well. Green had been criticised following the first game a couple of weeks back, but things have escalated even further following the latest defeat.

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