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NRL Fantasy Tips: 2023 State of Origin Game 2
Game 2 of the 2023 State of Origin series will see the NSW Blues head to the cauldron of Suncorp Stadium, in a must-win situation, after the Queensland Maroons won SOO Game 1 in Adelaide 26-18. What better way to take in this massive contest, than with a DFS entry on Draftstars! Below, we will discuss some our favourite plays for this clash, whilst also outlining some players to avoid in this big contest.
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.
Queensland has been forced into a few changes, with Broncos’ winger Selwyn Cobbo (hip) missing out. Cobbo is relaced by Xavier Coates, who will play his 7th Origin. Tom Gilbert (dislocated shoulder) is also out, with Cowboys Jeremiah Nanai returning to the Origin arena. In the only other change, Jai Arrow (ankle) will miss game 2, replaced by Titans front rower Mo Fotuaika, who will play his 5th State of Origin.
The Blues have also been forced into changes, the biggest of which is halfback Nathan Cleary (hamstring) being replaced by Mitch Moses. Api Koroisau (jaw) will miss the rest of the series, replaced by Origin veteran Damien Cook at hooker. Junior Paulo is promoted to start, with Tevita Pangai-Junior dropped, with Tiger Stefano Utoikamanu earning his Origin debut from the bench. Reece Robson also earns a debut, joining the bench in place of Nicho Hynes.
Queensland ($1.42) vs New South Wales ($2.90)
Points total – 36.5 points
The Blues come into game 2 as 6.5-point underdogs, after closing 1.5-point favourites in game 1, at a neutral venue. It’s a big swing, however the loss of two spine members for the Blues makes it justified.
Queensland have won 5 of the past 6 State of Origin matches at Suncorp Stadium, and with an unchanged spine, should be far too good for the Blues in game 2. Their forwards showed in game 1 that they can match it with the Blues pack, and with the combinations they have established after game 1 in the spine, will have too many points for the Blues.
Love It – Brian To’o - $14,820
To’o was massive in game 1, running for 201 metres, whilst busting 6 tackles and making a line-break. The Panthers’ winger was the highest scoring outside back for the Blues (2nd overall), and also the highest scoring outside back without a try. This implies that the nuggety wingers score is replicable, and if the Maroons continue to target To’o, he should get plenty of carries yet again. If he can manage a try, look for a game changing score.
Love It – Daly Cherry-Evans - $21,180
DCE was solid in game 1, managing a score of 51.8 without any type of attacking stats. Like To’o, these stats are replicable, if not a little understated. Given the Maroons are a good chance of once again scoring 20+ according to the markets, DCE will have a great chance at a 60+ score with a try involvement. The Sea Eagles’ halfback has the highest floor of any of the half/hooker options, whilst also having a genuinely high ceiling if he can get involved in some of the bigger plays in the match.
Love It – Reuben Cotter - $9,930
No brainer here, with the Cowboys’ middle forward likely to start for the Maroons, play big minutes, and get through a mountain of work once again. All that for less than $10,000. In game 1, Cotter played the entire 80 minutes, however this was mainly down to the fact Tom Gilbert went down injured, causing Cotter to shift to an edge. Despite this, Cotter still managed to get through 48 tackles, whilst running for 84 metres. I would once again expect Cotter to start in the front row, where he should play 50+ minutes and score 50+ points in the middle. Tremendous value for money.
Hate It – James Tedesco - $15,800
Little concerned with this one, as Tedesco seems hellbent on being so involved in every Blues attack. This means he will more than likely score well based purely on his running statistics, with some tackle breaks thrown in. However, I am basing this on Tedesco being priced up as the most expensive outside back by $1,000. But as has been the story all season with Tedesco in DFS, priors and Tedesco’s storied history in DFS and fantasy competitions, is the main reason he is priced this way, not because of his level of play.
Hate It – Damien Cook - $17,960
Cookie is back, and has generally been a play on in DFS over the years. However, much like Tedesco, Cook has struggled to play his best this season in the realm of DFS, taking a backseat to other Rabbitohs stars. This isn’t the main reason I’m fading Cook in this spot though. With another hooker named on the bench, Cook’s minutes are surely a concern. There is also talk that Reece Robson may even start the game, allowing Brad Fittler to inject Cook into the contest against tired forwards. I simply can’t pay this type of money for a hooker who is not guaranteed minutes. Harry Grant is a far better choice, at a massive $5,000 discount on Cook.
Who Knows – Mitch Moses - $18,090
Moses gets his second crack at State of Origin football, after playing in a dead rubber game 3 in 2021. This appears to be a bit of a fool’s errand for Moses, as no matter how well he plays in game 2 (and potentially game 3), it will be hard for him to retain the Blues number 7 moving forward, with Nathan Cleary waiting in the wings. Moses will likely take a backseat to the likes of Luai, Cook, Tedesco, and Trbojevic in attack, and will rely mainly on his kicking game to score his points. The Maroons will target him early and often, so who knows how he will respond.
Draftstars Suggested Lineup