2018 State of Origin Game 2 Preview

Game 2 of the 2018 State of Origin Series will take place as a stand-alone fixture this Sunday evening at Sydney’s ANZ Stadium.

Both Queensland and New South Wales are set to makes changes to their respective sides for State of Origin Game 2; some because of injury, others in an attempt to salvage the series and force a decider.

New South Wales have one hand on the shield after their impressive performance in Game 1 and remain clear $1.37 favourites to beat Queensland ($3.25) in Game 2 and officially close out the 2018 State of Origin series.

New South Wales

New South Wales produced an outstanding performance to win Game 1 of the 2018 State of Origin series and a similar showing would be enough to clinch only their second title in twelve seasons.

It looked like it was going to be one-way traffic when the Blues crashed over first thanks to a brilliant run from eventual man of the match James Tedesco, but they did let Queensland back into the contest a couple of times and simply cannot afford to do that in Game 2.

Blues fans would have been thrilled with the way their team were able to fight back into the contest and ice the game in the final 10 minutes, despite finding themselves on the wrong end of the score line shortly after halftime; an ability that has typically evaded the southern state during Queensland’s era of dominance.

Coach Brad Fittler has named an extended 20-man squad for Origin Game 2 to cover a couple of players under injury clouds, namely prop Reagan Campbell-Gillard (broken jaw) and Latrell Mitchell (ligament strain in neck) – both causalities of a physical Round 15 clash between the Roosters and Panthers.

Titans captain Ryan James looks likely to get the call-up for his Origin debut, while Tariq Sims, Luke Keary and Matt Prior have also been called into camp.

Queensland

Queensland were unable to account for the big and mobile Blues pack in Game 1 and were clearly out on their feet at the conclusion of the game after chasing around the speedy outside backs.

That being said, they were missing a number of key players through injury, they were stepping out for the first time without Smith, Cronk and Thurston and ultimately, kept themselves in with a chance until the final ten minutes of the game. They are sure to respond with a world-class performance of their own in Origin 2.

The Maroons are set to welcome back stalwart Billy Slater at fullback, while exciting up-and-comer Kalyn Ponga is also likely to gain his first run in a Queensland jersey, in place of the injured Michael Morgan.

One thing that has been proven time and time again is that when the chips are down, Queensland respond. They could prove well and truly over the odds at their current $3.25 quote in head-to-head betting, but they’ll need to produce something special.

2018 State of Origin Game 2 Betting

Everything is on the line for both Queensland and New South Wales leading into State of Origin Game 2 and there is plenty of value to be taken in betting.

Head-to-Head

The Blues managed to put the result beyond doubt in Game 1 and walked away 10-point victors. We’ve been in this position previously, however and they looked ready to wrap up the series in 2017 before choking in Game 2 and ultimately being played off the park in the decider. Fittler has attempted to stem that culture by replacing the lion’s share of players from the 2017 Blues squad and ultimately, they are offered a fresh slate. While Queensland are sure to muster a spirited performance, they look outclassed this year and New South Wales can confirm a much-need series win.

Tip: New South Wales 1-12 ($2.80)

First Try Scorer

The tried and true formula of ‘up the guts’ worked for New South Wales in Game 1 and James Tedesco was first across the paint at generous double-figure odds.

The prolific try-scoring fullback represents terrific value to repeat that feat in Game 2 at $11, but there is a case to be made for literally every player in the New South Wales three-quarter line and a kick to either Josh Addo-Carr ($9) or Tom Trbojevic ($10) out wide could materialise early in this game.

On the other side of the coin, Queensland have historically looked out wide for their tries and Game 1’s performance suggested that the left-hand side of Greg Inglis is generally going to be the target. Inglis to open the scoring looks to be the real value in First Tryscorer betting at $17, while his winger Valentine Holmes ($11) is always worth consideration.

Back a player to be first try scorer in Origin 2 and if they don’t score first but do score at any time in the game, you’ll score your stake back! Max bet $50.

Tip: Tom Trbojevic First Try Scorer ($10)

Man Of The Match

James Tedesco continually proves that he is a big game player and he was clearly the best on ground in New South Wales’ Game 1 triumph. It always takes an improved performance to win the honour in consecutive games, but the Roosters’ number 1 is worth consideration to be named man of the match again on Sunday.

Captain Boyd Cordner produced a great performance for his State in Game 1 and is the sort of player who will rise to the occasion again on Sunday. Should New South Wales find themselves in a spot of bother, it will be up to Cordner to lead the way and he can claim personal honours as a result.

It’s going to take an inspired performance from a Queenslander to lead his side to a victory in Game 2 and there is no appropriate man to fill that role than Greg Inglis. Inglis was the one player in a Maroon jersey that put in an 80-minute performance in Game 1 and he is sure to bring something special to ANZ Stadium this weekend.

Tip: Boyd Cordner to be named Man of the Match