Updated: Sep 15, 2020
When Josh Papali crossed in the 77th minute of Origin III last year, Queensland seemed destined to pull off yet another one of their stellar come from behind victories. It was left to Ethan Lowe to slot the conversion to square things up with only a couple of minutes remaining.
But sadly, it would be James Tedesco who got his ‘Mark Coyne’ moment scoring in the right corner with just a few seconds left on the clock, beating a desperate attempt from Dane Gagai, one of QLD’s most consistent performers in the origin arena for the past 5 or so years. As a Queensland supporter, probably the worst part was that Blake Ferguson was involved, sadly he and his crooked nose pulled off one of the great plays and sunk our hearts when he hit Tedesco with the pass on the inside.
Mark Coyne's last minute heroics in 1994
(Video Credit: Todd Van Steensel)
We know now that this year's State of Origin series will be played across 3 weeks in November. A unique situation and today I wanted to share with you my thoughts on who will be pulling on the 17 maroon jerseys come November 4, 2020.
Here's the 1 through 17 for QLD, of course subject to injuries and the form of Ben Hunt.
1. Kayln Ponga
2. Corey Oates
3. Michael Morgan
4. Dane Gagai
5. Valentine Holmes
6. Cameron Munster
7. Daly Cherry-Evans ©
8. Josh Papalii
9. Jake Friend
10. Dylan Napa
11. David Fifita
12. Felise Kaufusi
13. Josh Mcguire
Reserves: 14. Ben Hunt 15. Christian Welch 16. Jai Arrow 17. Corey Horsborough
On face value, it is very strong side with some notable changes to the side that ran out for Game III last year. Kalyn Ponga will get his opportunity at fullback and the boys in maroon will have a new centre pairing, albeit very experienced, with Moses Mbye dropped and Will Chambers departing for Japanese Rugby. Valentine Holmes is back and will find himself scoring 7 or 8 tries a game on the wing.
Halves pairing is strong, Munster moves from Fullback to arguably his more favoured five-eight position whilst the skipper will lead from the front at halfback.
Josh Papali and Dylan Napa will provide plenty of mongrel up front and David Fifita will get his opportunity to start. I am guessing by late this year Fifita will more than likely be regarded as one of the best players in the league, if indeed he isn’t already.
The bench is strong and offers great versatility, I’ll concede QLD might be missing some X factor off the bench but who do you pick? Anthony Milford? Perhaps if his form dictates it you could but he would have to be in red hot touch.
So those are my predictions, I would love to hear from all the NSW supporters who think that side is shithouse. Until then, I am going to go YouTube the best Origin brawls of all-time because all this Origin talk is getting me a little excited. I’ll probably start with when Ben Creagh ran away from Justin Hodges after Steve Price got knocked out, that was some of the best entertainment you’re ever likely to see.