TV: Live on SkySportsHD, Highlights on NRL Try Time (SkySports)
Queensland v New South Wales
The Queensland Maroons take on the New South Wales Blues at the iconic Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane and the hosts will be looking to take advantage of a large and vocal home crowd as they look to retain their title after losing to the Blues last year.
In what is always some of the most intense rugby of the season, the great news for all rugby fans is that you can watch all of the action live online via our State of Origin live streaming partners.
As ever, the Maroons go into this Origin series as the favourites for many but this is also expected to be a close series, with the Blues certainly closing the gap on the Maroons and whilst they did win last year, a lot of that was down to the poor performances of the Maroons but even if Queensland perform at their best this series, the Blues still have a great chance of taking the trophy back to New South Wales.
In years gone by, the State of Origin series was all about the superstars of Queensland (Cronk, Slater, Smith etc) against the hard working and industrial New South Wales but now that has in many ways equalled out as both teams have a number of grafters and both teams have a number of season stars but it could perhaps come down to which team’s up and coming superstar performs the better as a lot of pressure with be on Kalyn Ponga and Latrell Mitchell to live up to their hype and to give their team the advantage.
As the first match of the series, their is little form to go on but in last years event, the Blues won the first 2 with the Maroons winning the dead rubber.
Much of the build up to this one was around both teams half back pairings with Queensland opting for Cameron Munster & Daly Cherry-Evan whilst the Blues opting for Cody Walker & Nathan Cleary.
Ponga gets the fullback role for Queensland.
These matches are always difficult to predict, especially the first match of the series and the outcome can often be which team copes with the occasion and the atmosphere.
In front of their own fans and with arguably the more creativity, we are going to back the Maroons for a narrow win although this one could be either way and will likely be in the balance throughout.
Score Prediction Queensland Maroons by 8