NRL State Of Origin 2016 Game 1 Preview

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NRL State Of Origin 2016 Game 1 Preview


Origin 2016 – Game 1


Origin 2016 – Game 1 Recommended Bets


NSW H2H $1.85

NSW 1-12 $2.70

Total Points Under 31.5

Man of the Match: Boyd Cordner $23

The above bets are the favoured bet types MrG has recommended for this game.





The Blues have won four of last six encounters with the Maroons that have been played at ANZ Stadium and they have also recorded six wins from the previous eight Origin openers played at the ground. The Maroons have however, won “Game 1” in five of the last seven series and have a much improved record at ANZ Stadium, recording six wins to five against the Blues since 2008. A winning margin of 1-12 points has been the result in eighteen of the last twenty two Origins and also in the last twelve series openers, while the last fourteen Origin’s played at ANZ Stadium have been decided by ten points or less. NSW have been first to score in “Game 1” in five of the last eight games with four tries and a penalty goal, while Queensland has scored the last try of the match in nine of the last ten series openers.

A winger or centre has been the first try scorer in seven of the last ten matches to open an Origin series. Nine of the last fifteen matches have had total match points of 28 or less. When a try has been the first scoring play, the team that scored the try has gone on to win the match on seventeen of the last twenty three occasions. Jonathon Thurston is in his twelfth straight year of Origin and has claimed five “Man of the Match” awards to sit in outright 2nd, just three behind “The King”, Wally Lewis. Three of JT’s five MOM awards have come in game one of a series and with his current form its little wonder he is again installed as the favourite at $8.00. There have been 34 three games series’ and the winner of Game 1 has gone on to win the series on 25 occasions (73%). Both sides have named debutants, while Queensland holds a distinct advantage with experience, having played a total of 251 Origin games while the Blues have played just 111. There are just three changes to the Maroons side that defeated the Blues by 46 points in Game 3 of 2015, missing are Jacob Lillyman (11), Will Chambers (4) and Justin Hodges (24) and in their place are Josh McGuire (2), Corey Oates and Justin O’Neill (both on Debut), while the Blues have made nine changes, in are Reynolds, Moylan, Mansour and Walker (all on Debut), Fifita (4), Maloney (3), Ferguson (1), Farah (13) and Bird (16). Those to miss out are Hodkinson (6), Hopoate (5), Merrin (13), Scott (11), the Morris twins (12 & 13), Ennis (8), Pearce (15) and Hoffman (14). In total try comparisons, the Maroons current side has scored 58 tries to the Blues 11, with Greg Inglis (17) and Darious Boyd (16) both scoring more tries than the entire NSW squad. Cameron Smith will become the most capped Origin player of all time, with 37 appearances, surpassing Darren Lockyer.

The last four series openers have resulted in total match points of 28 points or less and ten of the last fifteen matches have totaled less than the 33.5 mark set for this match. The slippery surface of ANZ Stadium has also contributed to low scoring affairs and the last six meetings at the ground have gone Unders with an average of 21 and a game high if 28 in Game 2, 2012.


Game 1 in Origin across the last 6 to 8 years has consistently been tight close games and I expect just the same again here.

I favour NSW with a slight edge for a number of reasons –

– Daley has made 8 changes across his list from the team soundly beaten in game 3 last year and for once I think he has got much of it right. Clearly he wants to play a forward dominated muscle game through the middle 3rd of the park and look to close the game down to a physical arm wrestle. With the 9 man forward team list he has named I do think they hold some advantage here. I’m told the bench to consist of Klemmer, Tamou and Fifita in support of the starting middle of Gallen, Woods and most probably Bird. To then support his intent and play for smart field position he has two quality kickers in the halves in Adam Reynolds and Maloney and a fast nimble ball return runner at fullback (Moylan). I think it’s pretty clear what his game plan is.

– In addition to NSW’s power game QLD have selected 3 forwards in my opinion on reputation and not form – Myles, Guerra and Papalii. Each have been all but statues for their clubs through the last month or longer playing poorly and offering little and I am happy to risk that that continues (although we have seen numerous times form miracles occur for QLD players).

– Another key factor is the ground, the loose playing surface and the rain now forecast across Tuesday and Wednesday. Homebush at the best of times is dam and slippery underfoot for Origin games especially for any lateral or speed play to the edges, should the forecast rain come then this will only further enhance simple tactics centred toward forward physical play for much of the game done the middle third of the park.

QLD, as they have done across the last 8 to 9 years reek some class especially at #9 and #6, but many of their list are now very much at the back end of career, and for mine they look to be carrying some key forwards in the middle on past years performance not recent form. Their left edge attack with Thurston, Inglis, Boyd and Oates is outstanding but I question whether they will get much room to play if playing much on the game on the back foot through the middle and or on a dam slippery surface.

NSW won the series two years ago and were then level pegging into game 3 last year before having their pants pulled down with an embarrassing flogging – in short they have been closer through recent years than for much of the prior 8. They hold a healthy advantage for games played at Homebush winning 4 of the last 6 while the last four series openers have resulted in total match points of 28 points or less and 10 of the last 15 matches have totaled less than the 34.5 mark set for this match. Add some rain and total points under certainly looks a betting interest.

I’m with NSW here, tough physical game led through the middle on what look conditions likely to suit.



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NRL State Of Origin 2016 Game 1 Preview

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Having coached at a senior level for 16 years including 3 years on the coaching staff of an NRL club Mr G is an avid student of the game. He’s coached sides to win titles at a senior level, run the football arm of a successful district club, managed professional players and worked in various development roles, so it’s fair to say the game of Rugby League is certainly in his blood and supports an experienced and unique offering.

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