By Scott Woodward

The 2013 NSW Blues were dominant winners in Origin I, but according to stats they should be 6.00 to win Origin II in Brisbane. We have backed NSW to win the series at 2.10 and higher so we are hoping the stats are incorrect.

The only time the Blues have won game II in Brisbane after winning game I in Sydney was in the year 2000 when Brad Fittler and Brett Kimmorley created history that has never been repeated. That team had a handy bench that included Andrew Johns and David Furner.

While the stats since 1992 are only taken from six renewals which is not enough to excite your nerdy statisticians, the results are still revealing and show just hard it is to come off a high and back it up in front of a hostile Queensland crowd.

1992:Game 1 Wed, 6-May-1992 New South Wales def. Queensland 14-6
1992:Game 2 Wed, 20-May-1992 Queensland def. New South Wales 5-4
2000:Game 1 Wed, 10-May-2000 New South Wales def. Queensland 20-16
2000:Game 2 Wed, 24-May-2000 New South Wales def. Queensland 28-10
2002:Game 1 Wed, 22-May-2002 New South Wales def. Queensland 32-4
2002:Game 2 Wed, 5-Jun-2002 Queensland def. New South Wales 26-18
2004:Game 1 Wed, 26-May-2004 New South Wales def. Queensland 9-8
2004:Game 2 Wed, 16-Jun-2004 Queensland def. New South Wales 22-18
2006:Game 1 Wed, 24-May-2006 New South Wales def. Queensland 17-16
2006:Game 2 Wed, 14-Jun-2006 Queensland def. New South Wales 30-6
2008:Game 1 Wed, 21-May-2008 New South Wales def. Queensland 18-10
2008:Game 2 Wed, 11-Jun-2008 Queensland def. New South Wales 30-0

Now here is a stat that will excite the nerds, especially if you are from NSW.

79% of teams that win game I go on and win the series. That’s means that NSW should be 1.29 to win the series if you believe that 23 of the 29 game I winners is a good enough sample.

1st Game winners

29

Went on to win series

23

79%

 

NSW are 2.25 to 2.45 to win game II while the Maroons have firmed in from 1.72 to 1.60 on the back of the Jarryd Hayne injury and the James Tamou suspension. I see both these incidents as very replaceable and is an over re-action by the market.

The prices are also heavily influenced by the stats that we have already discussed, now let’s look at the reality and put analytics to the side.

I spoke to a key figure in Camp Maroon today and asked him if they would “go with the same team”.

If we are to believe our eyes then the champion Queensland Origin team are in trouble – big trouble. Their amazing backline have been able to “carry” their forwards over the last seven years and based on “loyalty”, the selectors have not injected enough new blood and elected to play out of form players like Harrison, Shillington and even Thaiday. Champion Matt Scott is even down on form and while Nate Myles offers a tough edge, he is not a world class prop forward.

The Maroons never got rolling until the second half in Origin I when backs Justin Hodges, Greg Inglis, Billy Slater and an injured Jonathan Thurston did what the forwards were supposed to do and create opportunities. Hodges made as many off loads as the entire NSW team.

Queensland could have easily been beaten by a bigger margin than the 14-6 score line in Sydney as they were worthy winners and the forwards were dominant. Even my friend who has two Maroon eyes could not take the 1.6 on offer at the moment, despite the home ground advantage.

Coach Meninga has said he will not make changes, but it is hard to imagine that they will not replace Harrison with the classy Corey Parker which would boost the bench with Josh Papalii. It would be too much to ask for them to add Ben Barba. Blues coach Laurie Daley would have been grateful that Barba was not sitting on the bench in game I. This is the problem that the Maroons have now as they have failed to implement a succession plan. They have failed to “blood” young forwards and star backs Daly Cherry-Evans, Ben Barba and even Anthony Milford, who I consider to be Queensland’s future key spine combination are still waiting to be blooded.

I believe that Robbie Farah is the most important player for NSW and I expect him to play. I also expect Jarryd Hayne to be selected and Josh Dugan to be named 18th man but train as the run on fullback and become official during Origin week. Hayne will either drop out, move to the bench or replace Blake Ferguson on the right wing. All these options are good for NSW and the 2.45 for a team that was a last start dominant winner is great value, despite what the nerds say.