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Sport State of Origin: Matthew Johns analyses the favourites for every NSW position

05:06  15 may  2018
05:06  15 may  2018 Source:   sportingnews.com

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State of Origin : Matthew Johns analyses the favourites for every NSW position . Slater to walk before Origin III: Gould. Not exactly inspiring words from a former Blues legend.Former Blues and Newcastle star Matthew Johns has joined a chorus of NSW supporters who are hopeful that Kevin

The State of Origin series is the annual best-of-three rugby league football match series between two Australian state representative sides, the New South Wales Blues and the Queensland Maroons. Referred to as Australian sport's greatest rivalry

a group of football players on a field© Provided by Sportal com au

Two weeks.

That’s all that is left for a crop of around 25 players to prove their worth to NSW coach Brad Fittler and squeeze into his final 17 come game one.

Some players had their noses in front at the start of round 10, but one week of football can dramatically turn things on its head, as we saw in the hooker battle between Damien Cook and Cameron McInnes.

Former Blues enforcer Matt Geyer revealed who would make the cut in his side if he was in Fittler’s shoes with some hard-to-argue selections in key positions.

Without doubt, the halves debate is once again at the top of everyone’s agenda, although the hooker, centres and bench forwards are experiencing the same uncertainty thanks to an in-form Dragons side that is knocking down the selection door.

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The 2003 State of Origin series was the 22nd year that the annual three-game series between Queensland and New South Wales was contested entirely under ' state of origin ' selection rules. Queensland's return to a renovated Lang Park was soured when Andrew Johns returned to form for

The 2005 State of Origin series saw the 24th time that the annual three-game series between the Queensland and New South Wales representative rugby league football teams was contested entirely under ' state of origin ' selection rules.

Running his eye over his former co-hosts' team on the Triple M Grill Team, Matthew Johns weighed in on who he believes are the favourites for each position with some insight of his own.

FULLBACK AND WINGS

Geyer selects: James Tedesco, Josh Addo-Carr, Blake Ferguson

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The wait is over, as New South Wales enjoys its first State of Origin series victory in four years, with the young and fearless Blues beating the Queensland Maroons 18-14 in Game II in Sydney.

New South Wales , getting some ball in attacking position later in the half, scored their first try when Paul Gallen crashed over from close-range " Johns quits NSW coaching over race slur". The Sydney Morning Herald. "Queensland beats NSW 34–6 to claim fifth-straight State of Origin series victory".

Johns says: "I don’t know about Blake Ferguson. I would definitely go Addo-Carr. I think at the moment Tedesco has got his nose in front just ahead of Tom T (Trbojevic), but I’d go for young (Nick) Cotric (on the wing)."

CENTRES

Geyer selects: Tom Trbojevic, Latrell Mitchell

Johns says: "I think Euan Aitken deserves a spot. I think Aitken has been absolutely terrific.

"Curtis (Scott) has been carrying an ankle injury.

"I’m not against Latrell, I think he’s been starting to find that consistency we’ve been looking for, and geez he’s a dangerous player when they give him the football."

HALVES

Geyer selects: Luke Keary, James Maloney

Johns says: "You’d lock Maloney in and Keary really stated his case last week.

"The interesting one here is Nathan Cleary. I’m of the belief with the young player who hasn’t played State of Origin... I’d be reluctant to rush him after two games, however, if he goes out this weekend and has an absolute blinder then backs it up the week after, then Freddy may very well pick him.

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State of Origin results and statistics have been accumulating since the 1980 State of Origin game. Every game played under State of Origin selection rules, including the additional 1987 exhibition match and the matches played between New South Wales and Queensland for the Super League

Neville Costigan was put on stand-by as 18th man instead of Matthew Scott. This was also the first time ever that every club in the NRL provided a player for State of Origin . New South Wales Blues. Position . Game 1.

"He’s that sort of kid, he’s so composed, you’d imagine he could handle it - but still, I don’t know about it. If there was no Cleary, I think Keary has his nose in front."

BACK-ROW AND LOCK

Geyer selects: Boyd Cordner, Tyson Frizell, Jake Trbojevic

Johns says: "Certainly (on Trbojevic).

"Freddy loves Boyd Cordner, he’s got him pencilled down as his captain. He was good last weekend.

"There’s been some significant pressure from people like (Jack) de Belin, but also Tariq Sims as well but you’d imagine he’s hold his spot there."

FRONT-ROW

Geyer selects: Reagan Campbell-Gillard, David Klemmer

Johns says: "Reagan Campbell-Gillard will be the first front-rower picked, there’s no doubt about it."

HOOKER & UTILITY

Geyer selects: Damien Cook, Tyrone Peachey

Johns says: "The belief has been up until a week or so ago that Damien Cook, with how quick he is and the impact he can make off the bench, is that he could come off the bench and have McInnes as the starter.

"However, in the last two weeks, Cook’s form has just gone through the roof and now there’s the belief that Cook could possibly play the 80 minutes, and I believe if they go with Cook then I don’t think they’ll carry McInnes on the bench.

"If that’s the case then I think they might go with Tyrone Peachey - if Tyrone Peachey can hold form, because Peachey’s got the ability to play dummy-half as well if something happens to Cook."

BENCH FORWARDS

Geyers selects: Paul Vaughan, Jack de Belin, Tariq Sims

Johns says: "I think most people would agree with that. Those Dragons players, look - they got beaten last week, but as I said, they’ve been up for a long time and they’ve been mighty all season.

"I wouldn’t put them in the category of being rookies. They’re hard-nosed professionals, they’ll handle the jump (with) no problem at all."

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