New South Wales State Of Origin Team 2013 – Game 3

July 9th, 2013

While the seven-time defending series champions the Queensland Maroons have today announced an unchanged 2013 State Of Origin team for game three next Wednesday, July 13, the struggling New South Wales Blues have been forced to make a number of alterations.

Laurie Daley’s boys came out firing back in game one and looked serious contenders to break a seven-year State Of Origin series drought with a win down in Sydney in front of big home crowd.

They had a horror lead-up to Game 2 however and it showed on the field with the cockroaches going down in an embarrassing 26 – 6 loss at the old Lang Park (Suncorp Stadium).

It’s back down south of the border for the must win decider Wednesday week but the home ground advantage is about all New South Wales have on their side this time.

Injuries to their three most experienced players have left the game three Blues’ squad ravaged and the fans already stressing about how to cop another series loss.

On Sunday night New South Wales named an extended 20-man squad for the series decider originally naming the wounded trio of skipper Paul Gallen (foot), Greg Bird (ankle) and Jarryd Hayne (hamstring).

Parramatta Eels’ star Jarryd Hayne however has since been ruled out, the injured winger to be replaced by Newcastle Knights flyer James McManus.

Hayne was absent from gate two with a hamstring injury sustained in the Eels game against the Roosters in Round 13 which has hung on and which will see him watch helpless from the sidelines again in game three.

McManus meanwhile steps into a Blues jersey for just the second time having debuted back in 2009 for one game.

“James is in good form, he’s been there before,” Daley said this week.

“When we looked at the contribution value rating he’s the best in terms of what he brings to the table in terms of … all wingers in the comp.

“He’s playing well and he adds a bit of size out wide.”

Captain Gallan is still getting around in a moonboot for his injured foot meanwhile with Daley giving him every opportunity to prove his fitness in time to boost the side’s confidence, the same going for Bird who hurt his ankle in Darwin on Saturday night when the Gold Coast lost in a shocker to Penrith.

“They’re pretty important members of the team, they’re pretty influential and they’re good leaders to have around the group,” Daley said.

“Given what they’ve done, they deserve the opportunity to have every chance to be right to play in the biggest game that we’ve played in for a while.”

Waiting to replace them are Roosters second-rower Boyd Cordner and Tigers prop Aaron Woods.

After an ordinary Origin debut in Game II there were no surprises about the dumping of South Sydney’s Nathan Merrit for the third match.

“Nath doesn’t get another chance,” Daley said.

In a controversial decision re: the extended bench Daley has named Cowboys forward James Tamou despite their game two omission after being suspended for drink driving.

Sharks star Andrew Fifita (14th) who had a cracker game over the Tigers on Friday night as well as the Dragons’ Trent Merrin (15th) have both also earned a recall on the bench – the first time in three years Merrin has been retained for game three.

With the injury doubts and the game two loss the Blues will go into Wednesday week’s game as the underdogs currently paying $2.30 in the State of Origin odds with Queensland top fancies at $1.63.

To lock in these prices and access nearly 30 exclusive State Of Origin betting markets head over to bookmaker.com.au where you’ll also be rewarded with a $500 sign-up bet if you deposit and quote the code BONUSBET!

2013 NSW State Of Origin Team (Game 3)

ANZ Stadium, 17/07/2013, 8pm (AEST)

1. Josh Dugan

2. Brett Morris

3. Michael Jennings

4. Josh Morris

5. Jarmes McManus

6. James Maloney

7. Mitchell Pearce

8. Paul Gallen (c)

9. Robbie Farah (vc)

10. James Tamou

11. Ryan Hoffman

12. Luke Lewis

13. Greg Bird

Interchange

14. Andrew Fifita

15. Trent Merrin

16. Josh Reynolds

17. Anthony Watmough

18. Aaron Woods

19. Boyd Cordner