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How Queensland shapes up for Origin II

3 minute read

How the Queensland side stacks up for Origin II.

KALYN PONGA .
KALYN PONGA . Picture: Ashley Feder/Getty Images

HOW QUEENSLAND SHAPE UP FOR STATE OF ORIGIN II:

Fullback - Kalyn Ponga

Age: 24

Origins: 5

Tries: 0

The elusive fullback impressed in Origin I with his attacking creativity earning him a clever try assist, but looks capable of getting even more involved.

Winger - Selwyn Cobbo

Age: 20

Origins: 1

Tries: 0

The youngster didn't look out of place on debut and his speed and game smarts were on full show with a cheeky kick creating a try. Will look to show more of the power, speed and strength he displays at club level.

Centre - Valentine Holmes

Age: 27

Origins: 11

Tries: 10

Continued to deliver the goods for his state in game one with a try, but a number of impressive defensive efforts showed the centre's all-round capabilities best.

Centre - Dane Gagai

Age: 31

Origins: 20

Tries: 12

Veteran Gagai continued to excel at Origin level with a try in game one and his game awareness make him a real backbone of the Queensland side.

Winger - Murray Taulagi

Age: 23

Origins: 0

Tries: 0

Replacing the injured Xavier Coates, Taulagi has more than earned his debut with a stunning season for the Cowboys including nine tries.

Five-eighth - Cameron Munster

Age: 27

Origins: 14

Tries: 1

Clearly the best player on the park in game one with his electrifying bursts of speed giving the NSW line nightmares. A game two win starts with him.

Halfback - Daly Cherry-Evans (captain)

Age: 33

Origins: 17

Tries: 2

The Queensland captain has taken the first step to elevating his legacy after last year's trouncing, but Cherry-Evans remains hell-bent on leading the Maroons back to the winner's circle.

Prop - Lindsay Collins

Age: 26

Origins: 4

Tries: 0

The blue-collar prop was part of the Maroons' bench that sparked the game one win, churning out 133m in less than a half of footy.

Hooker - Ben Hunt

Age: 32

Origins: 12

Tries: 2

Solid without being spectacular in game one, but his ability to get through the early stages allows interchange hooker Harry Grant to light things up off the bench.

Prop - Josh Papalii

Age: 30

Origins: 21

Tries: 3

The spiritual leader of the Maroons' pack and most experienced Queenslander wasn't asked to do much in game one playing just 22 minutes, but remains one of the best forwards in the world.

Back-rower - Kurt Capewell

Age: 28

Origins: 7

Tries: 1

The Panther-turned-Bronco showed his versatility in the series opener with a switch into the centres. Is back in the second row where his power running will be critical.

Back-rower - Felise Kaufusi

Age: 30

Origins: 13

Tries: 1

The reliable back-rower again went the full 80 minutes in game one, but will be out to find a bit more of the footy after only making eight runs.

Lock - Tino Fa'asuamaleaui

Age: 22

Origins: 7

Tries: 0

The inspirational Gold Coast skipper will shift from prop to lock to cover the injured Reuben Cotter. It's where he's produced outstanding club form showing him to be one of the league's best forwards.

Interchange:

Harry Grant

Age: 24

Origins: 3

Tries: 1

Showed exactly why coach Billy Slater likes him coming off the bench with a game-changing display first-up. The ability to change the pace of the game remains a huge tactical advantage for Queensland.

Jai Arrow

Age: 26

Origins: 9

Tries: 0

Is back in the fold after getting booted last year for breaking COVID protocols. Has said he will play like he owes Queensland one.

Patrick Carrigan

Age: 24

Origins: 1

Tries: 0

Close to best on field on debut as part of the bench unit that won the Maroons game one. Could play some No.13 in Reuben Cotter's absence.

Jeremiah Nanai

Age: 19

Origins: 1

Tries: 0

The try-scoring back-rower didn't get the chance to show what he's capable of on debut, although he showed his heart playing through a tough ankle knock.

18th man:

Tom Dearden

Age: 21

Origins: 0

Tries: 0

Superb form for North Queensland has earned the halfback a stay with the squad in a feel-good story for a talent who has sparkled since moving on from Brisbane.

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