Queensland State of Origin Squad – Game 2

June 7th, 2011

The Queensland State of Origin squad has been named for game two of the series and there are just two changes to the team that overpowered New South Wales in Game 1 at Suncorp Stadium.

Willie Tonga is out injured after dislocating his shoulder in that game has been replaced by the returning Greg Inglis.

The other change also comes out of South Sydney with Dave Taylor earning his promotion to the main 17 at the expense of Jacob Lillyman.

All up it’s hardly a surprising squad with everything pretty much as expected from Mal Meninga.

Given the success Queensland had in Game 1 there was never expected to be any drastic changes except for those forced through injury.

Justin Hodges is expected to return for Brisbane in the next couple of weeks and that could cause some headaches for the selection panel going into game three.

Of course much of that pressure could be taken away with a Queensland victory at ANZ Stadium in Sydney next week.

New South Wales are desperate to stop Queensland from winning an incredible six series in a row, especially on their home soil.

In game one it was the Queensland forward pack which deservedly took much of the credit for the win after steamrolling the NSW pack for pretty much the entire game.

Veteran Civoniceva showed there’s still plenty left in the tank while fellow prop Matt Scott was probably hard done by in not claiming man of the match honours.

Dave Taylor only adds extra size and strength to the pack at the expense of Lillyman who plays as a more low key workhorse type roll.

Selectors told Taylor before game one that he would need to lift his own work rate at club level before being considered and that’s exactly what he did for South Sydney on the weekend.

Taylor claimed man of the match honours in a losing team and terrorised the Melbourne defence making three line breaks, a couple of offloads, one try and probably scored the match winner as well were it not for a poor decision by the referee.

The solitude of the Queensland line-up is in stark contrast to that of New South Wales which has five changes and multiple players playing out of position.

The selections by Rocky Stuart have sparked massive controversy across the state with many pointing out the back flips he’s made form game one.

Whatever team is put out next Wednesday will know exactly what they’re up against though with no secrets and no surprises for the maroons.

The same key players will be working off a forward pack full of State of Origin experience.

While plenty is made about the likes of Lockyer, Thurston, Slater and Smith none of their brilliance would be possible without the early go forward.

If NSW are going to stop this team they need to first look up front and stop the incredible roll on gained by the Queensland big man.

That’ll be where game two is won and lost in front of packed out ANZ Stadium in Sydney.

Both teams have everything to play for  and NSW will need to hope their home ground advantage and desperation is enough to overcome the consistent might of the Queensland squad.

Queensland State of Origin Team – Game two

1. Billy Slater (Melbourne Storm)

2. Darius Boyd (St George Illawarra)

3. Dane Nielsen (Melbourne Storm)

4. Greg Inglis (South Sydney)

5. Jharal Yow Yeh (Brisbane Broncos)

6. Darren Lockyer (c) (Brisbane Broncos)

7. Johnathan Thurston (North Queensland Cowboys)

8. Matt Scott (North Queensland Cowboys)

9. Cameron Smith (Melbourne Storm)

10. Petero Civoniceva (Penrith)

11. Nate Myles (Sydney Roosters)

12. Sam Thaiday (Brisbane Broncos)

13. Ashley Harrison (Gold Coast Titans)

Bench: Cooper Cronk (Melbourne Storm), Corey Parker (Brisbane Broncos), Dave Taylor (South Sydney), Ben Hannant (Brisbane Broncos). 18th man: Jacob Lillyman (Warriors)