State of Origin Why and why not: NSW Blues

The main parties in the state are always seen with hints of controversy, mystery and deception as the trainers try to pull the fur over each other’s eyes. Of course this year is no different, both squads have now been released and unusually early.

Bring it on to why and why not every player named to hit the park next Wednesday night in Sydney and tear it up.

Today, it’s the Hometown Blues.

1. James Tedesco

Why? Went there, did that. Squad captain and a proven performer at the top level. An elite fullback at the top of his game.

Why not? Change is as good as a holiday. A healthy Ryan Papenhuizen is breathing on this man’s neck. He will probably be occupied for the next year or so.

2. Brian To’o

Why? This guy is a perfect bowling ball when he runs full steam to almost anyone. In addition to building huge meters from the blues end, he has game-breaking ability to be a flashy finisher in his single effort and at the end of a good game inside.

Why not? Little Man Syndrome. With two Queensland wings dominating the Dominative (comparatively) Toe, a target in the aerial battle of the Blues Tri-line will be behind him and above his head.

3. Cotoni Stags

Why? The Stags have long been identified as the next man in the controversial center pair. A powerful ball runner and a lockdown defender, Kotoni was built for Origin.

Why not? There is always a question mark over whether a self-proclaimed goal can be achieved and Queensland will send him everything he can to work defensively and hang up his offensive skills. Stags will feel the pressure of a lot of performances, as he will probably not be there to hurt other players.

The cotton stags of the Broncos give a break

(Photo by Matt Roberts / Getty Images)

4. Jack Whitton

Why? Quickly becoming an experienced preacher at the Origin level, Whitton provides an old head on the young shoulder. His versatility in both center or half play, as he did in Game 3 last year, gives coach Brad Fitler some options for disaster strikes on game day.

Why not? Whitton has not been his former Daly M-winner lately. At the club level his defense left much to be desired, and Queensland must know it. He is an amazing selection considering the talent of the other centers of the squad.

5. Daniel Tupu

Why? The three long sticks in the back are almost always a winning formula at the origin level. With six feet, five inches and the ability to jump to match an NBA player, Tupu would be dangerous behind a very accurate Nathan Cleary kicking game.

Why not? Tupu lacks game-breaking capabilities, an X-factor that is very important at the origin level. He’s a strong performer but not out of your traditionally glamorous that improves the spotlight. Josh Addo-Carr With this jersey lock down it will feel a little missed year after year.

6. Jerome Louie

Why? In partnership with fellow Penrith Panther Nathan Cleary, Louie formed half of the game’s most dynamic six-seven combos. His ability to open a game in the twinkling of an eye is unparalleled and always proves to be a handful for any opponent, including Queensland.

Why not? Louie’s ad-lib footy doesn’t necessarily fit into the mold of a true original half. Origin games are a crush, and it only takes one small error to offload the opponent’s pressure mountain and accumulate it on your own team. There is no place for fire and brimstone in its neat, chubby nature.

Jerome Louie of the Blues

(Photo by Mark Colby / Getty Images)

7. Nathan Cleary

Why? Field General. Cleary has matured much earlier than many half and, at the age of 24, already has a first pick basis from the original. His kicking game, tactics and ability to catch a match are perfectly suited to the Origin arena.

Why not? Great question. Something about his father not being a coach. I honestly can’t blame this guy. He is immeasurable.

8. Smile on the feet

Why? Big, strong, resilient, and fit – these are just some of the goal setting shareware that you can use these days. The Origin War begins with the big boys up front, and Haas is made for this kind of conflict. He will start all the game and not stop.

Why not? Due to the recent contract negotiations for Payne and the unrest at Clubland, some have questioned whether he would be confused about the three biggest games he will play this year. Coach Freddie reassured the hosts NRL 360 That his election was not confirmed on Monday night until he himself heard from the man that it would not affect their camp.

9. Damien Cook

Why? A big-game player who has been there before, he has a great record on the big stage. He has locked down the No. 9 jersey with his speed outside the dummy half and leading across the park, and has not missed a game since being elected for the first time in 2018.

Why not? The Api Koroisau-Penrith connection will always be large as long as Cleary and Luai are between the halves.

Damien Cooks stops Ben Hunt

(Photo by Queen Rooney / Getty Images)

10. Junior Paolo

Why? An absolute battering ram like the modern-day Mark O’Malley, this block is a sight to behold throughout the flight and will be in front of the house with a pained smile to flatten any of Queensland’s enthusiasm among the forwards.

Why not? Fortunately for the junior, some bad form and ongoing injury problems for current NSW prop Daniel Sifiti have opened the door for another crack in the big time for Paolo. Compared to both Daniel and his 2021 prop partner Jack Trobozevic, Paolo is less dynamic with the ball in hand and the Maroon forwards will line him up a mile away.

11. Cameron Murray

Why? First of all, he’s going to look great in all media fluff because maybe the second-rower looking for the best of the comp. Cam is a guy who works well on his weight and doesn’t take a step backwards. His extreme fitness means that when the big boys get tired he will become a handful towards the end of the game.

Why not? Is lack of size something that can be filled as a middle forward at the origin level? He’s certainly not Tyson Frigel’s ball runner, nor is he the size of bench player Reagan Campbell-Gillard.

12. Tariq Sims

Why? After the sky blue jersey, Tariq always seems to be able to put aside the bad team performance at the club level. He struggled to get back on the team last year after being absent in 2020 and was instrumental in winning the blues series early. An old hardhead that doesn’t think anything of a tweet.

Why not? Tariq looks good to become a standout player from a bad side. Does he really deserve to start more than anyone else on the squad or on the bench? I don’t think so.

Tariq Sims

(Photo by Chris Hyde / Getty Images)

13. Isaiah Yo

Why? He is holding the best lock in the game at the moment. Not only did he get all the work Locke expected in both attack and defense, but his ability to play ball at number 13 was unmatched. With his Panther friends Cleary and Louie, he will find a field. During the daytime control in the middle of the field, his friends cut and spread them.

Why not? This bloke is a product of the success of his team and their system. If Louie and Cleary go down, Yeo will have trouble matching up with any new half-pair that doesn’t understand how they fit into their game plan.

14. Stephen Crichton

Why? Cricton has been scheduled for some time to select an origin. His versatility for playing in all the outside back positions makes the Blues sit up pretty much when he gets injured while playing. Otherwise his strike and speed late in the game will be invaluable when he can come and tear the tiring Maroon pack to pieces.

Why not? He covers the outer back, but this number 14 jersey traditionally goes to a guy who can show off the moon as a half or even a pseudo backrower or hooker. This election flies in the face of that argument. And if coach Fitler sees a problem, it wouldn’t be a big surprise to see Nico Hynes coming.

15. Liam Martin

Why? Under the current blues structure this guy is very unlucky not to be running out in an early jersey. Another hard-working midfielder, the opposition has softened, and the connections that Martin will make with his Panther teammates could be fatal to his addition to Caldron midway through the first half.

Why not? This roster has more experience in the extended squad. And sometimes that’s exactly what Origin is all about, especially if you want to get off the bench. He doesn’t bring the same punch as the other options on the attack.

16. Reagan Campbell-Gillard

Why? Large and mobile, the RCG has the potential to bring some great excitement from the bench and loves the thought of running a tired forward in the middle. He is responsible for breaking the line from time to time as well – a fugitive attempt that we want from the long-legged prop.

Why not? He was away from the Origin Arena for a while, playing a game at the 2018 MCG. He will probably have to take care of himself to stay in the spotlight in order to get a place in the team due to injuries to other important players.

17. Ryan Matterson

Why? This guy got it. He is one of the best of the forwards this year and has joined some of his teammates who have jumped in previous years. Another hard worker in the middle will contribute to the success of the Blues. No stress, young friend.

Why not? A debutant always does a little extra checking, especially with experienced forwards with a good origin pedigree in the extended squad. There will be a point to prove it, but there are things to try very hard.

All in all, this blues squad certainly has the potential to continue the NSW dominance of recent years, with depth and experience across the park.

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