NRL State of Origin

The biggest rivalry in the sport of rugby league, State of Origin, kicks off on Wednesday night, with the Blues facing the Maroons in Adelaide. With the Queenslanders hungry for back-to-back titles, can the Blues turn things around and claim their 4th shield in the past 6 years, or will the Queenslanders maintain their dominance of the past two decades?

Draftstars has a massive $40,000 guaranteed contest for the first game of the series, with the winner set to pocket almost $4,000! With several other contests available, there’s something for everyone, so get involved and make this game even more interesting. Also, there are two AFL Star Qualifiers available via State of Origin contests, with the winners put in the pool to be included in a massive $750,000 contest for the AFL Final.


Team News

Queensland have made a few changes from their 2022 Game III squad, with Broncos’ fullback Reece Walsh snatching the #1 jersey from Kalyn Ponga. Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow has been named at centre, replacing Dane Gagai, whilst Murray Taulagi replaces Corey Oates. With Josh Papali’i retiring from Origin football, Thomas Flegler starts at prop. Jeremiah Nanai loses his place, as does Kurt Capewell, with an entirely new back row consisting of David Fifita and Tom Gilbert. Reuben Cotter joins the bench.

NSW have brought Josh Addo-Carr back into the fold, replacing the injured Daniel Tupou. Brad Fittler has opted for a change at front row, with Payne Haas and Tevita Pangai-Junior replacing Jake Trbojevic (injured) and Junior Paulo (bench). Fittler has benched his back rowers too, with Cam Murray and Liam Martin named to come off the bench, with Hudson Young and Tyson Frizell named to start. Nicho Hynes joins the bench, in place of Damien Cook.

Betting Markets

Queensland ($2.00) vs New South Wales ($1.80)

Points total – 35.5 points

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Queensland won the only previous State of Origin game at the Adelaide Oval, prevailing 18-14 in Game 1, 2020. The Blues flew out of the gate, up 10-0 after 20 minutes. They held this lead until after half-time, before three straight Queensland tries in a 15-minute period turned the tables. A late Josh Addo-Carr try wasn’t enough, and the Maroons took the lead in the series, which they ultimately won 2-1.

The Blues opened 2.5-point favourites and $1.65 in the head-to-head market, however with the loss of Latrell Mitchell, and the news swirling around Nathan Cleary being in doubt, money has come for the Maroons, with NSW ($1.80) and Qld ($2.00) currently in the market. The books are standing firm at the 2.5-point spread, with those 2 points being an extremely critical number, with Queensland +2.5 now heavily juiced.

As always, this could go either way, but I’ll take the Blues to get the job done in game 1. There’s far more pressure on their coach (Fittler), and their halfback (Cleary), so stepping up in game 1 is highly likely.

Love It – Tom Trbojevic - $12,090

I’ve got to hope that the Blues have more of a plan this year to include their game breakers, rather than just ‘get the ball to Tedesco’. Teddy’s form has been below average this year, and if he’s expected to do it all, the Blues are in strife. One man that has shown he can take over a game of Origin, is Tom Trbojevic. He may have the #4 on his back, but Tommy Turbo should be given free reign to lurk around the middle of the field. He showed last week his fitness has returned to a decent level, and I believe he’s as good a chance as anyone to explode in game 1.

Love It – Cam Munster - $17,630

Munster loves the Origin arena, and in general always seems to perform at his best in the biggest games. Whilst Cleary and DCE have a much higher floor than Munster, due to their general play kicking, Munster has a far higher upside when it comes to attacking plays, whilst also being far more willing to get involved in running the ball. Is always a chance at an offload or tackle break, and just appears to have more ways of scoring points. At a $6,000 discount on Cleary, I’ll take the Storm five eighth and hope for a try involvement.

Love It – Patrick Carrigan - $19,680

Another who is built for Origin, this guy seems to save his best for the Origin arena. There’s not a great deal to say about Carrigan, other than expect big minutes, big tackle count, and plenty of running metres. If you somehow manage to get some attacking stats out of him, even better. In Origin, particularly in game 1, you can’t count on points being score, due to the lack of combinations, so you need to spend up big in the forwards for guaranteed points. Whilst Carrigan is expensive (2nd most expensive FF), I believe he’s still terrific value. You can’t go wrong with either lock, but you have to have at least one in my opinion.

Hate It – David Fifita - $18,050

Fifita has had a tremendous season, and has high upside in this game. However, I’d prefer to spend my premium forward dollars on players I believe will roll the sleeves up and score high, without the need for attacking stats. At this price point, the likes of Carrigan, Yeo, and Haas are the far safer options. If you believe Fifita is going to tear it up, then he is no doubt a good purchase, given the minimal number of points likely to be scored in this game. 

Hate It - Tyson Frizell / Hudson Young - $14,910 / $14,820

This is a bit of a guess as to how Freddie is going to form his back-row rotation. If you look at the names on the bench, I’m confident one of two things is going to happen. One of these options is, the starting backrowers will remain the same, however neither will play big minutes, with the likes of Cam Murray and Liam Martin likely to play big minutes off the bench. Or two, Freddie makes a couple of late changes, bringing in Murray and/or Martin to start on an edge. Whichever option proves correct, the bottom line is both these guys won’t play big enough minutes to make themselves relevant at this price point. Considering Murray ($11,960) and Martin ($9,000) are far cheaper than both, I can’t advocate either.

Who Knows – Nicho Hynes - $9,960

People who regularly play DFS will know that Nicho is one of, if not the best DFS player in Rugby League. This type of price couldn’t even be fathomed when it comes to Hynes as a DFS option, however given he’s been named on the bench as a utility, it’s easy to see why. However, if Hynes manages to get big minutes due to an injury, or a plan that Freddie Fittler has to use his undoubted talents, then this price is ludicrous for someone so good. Then again, he may get 5 minutes in his Origin debut and score you 1 point. Probably too much risk for me, but you never know.

Draftstars Suggested Lineup



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