By Aaron Callaghan
The NSW Blues won the 2018 Origin series after a decade or so of failures. Is it too early to call dynasty?
I think not.
Every NRL commentator worth their salt is preemptively beating Brad Fitler to the punch and naming their 17 man Blues squad and what sort of opinion based blog in rugby league heartland would we be if I didn’t put my NSW team on paper.
This goes without saying that State of Origin football is shades different to the NRL regular season. It is more intense, the spotlights are brighter, the games are a touch slower as the middle arm wrestle rages on - earn the right to go wide by winning the middle, well at least those are the lessons I’ve learned from watching comfortably on TV and in the stands.
This second grade country rugby union player knows a thing or two about state of origin … let me tell you.
Jokes aside the formula for winning state of origin games and ultimately string consectutive series victories together was laid out by Queensland for many years with team stability and players who weren’t overawed by the occasion.
Which brings me to my point, my team may not have the boom rookies and guys in top form but rather tried and trusted, battle hardened players who can ultimately do the job.
Josh Morris pending retirement / James Roberts
Ryan Matterson / Angus Crichton
Now to address the points of contention and explain my selections.
Josh Morris or James Roberts in the vacant centre role - Josh Morris is retired from origin however Fitler may put out the S.O.S call. Morris is a big game player, has been there before and performed extremely well. James Roberts is currently in reserve grade, after last years origin series Roberts looked like the long term centre, all is not well in the Broncos program for Roberts as he languishes in reggies. I think the positivity of Fitler’s origin camp would allow Roberts to shine again.
Perhaps emerging blue Nick Cotric unlucky to be omitted from The Unsportsmen's team selection but he's one for the future.
The halves - Keary is in amazing form, maturing every year and Nathan Cleary well pick and stick is a good policy to employ, again I think Fitler's origin camps will be nothing but good for these out of sorts players. Also Cleary is a fine edge defender.
UPDATE: 9AM 24/5/2019 - After conversing with the peanut gallery I’ve removed Peachey and put Ryan Matterson on the bench.
I'm happy that this team could win 3-0 however I'm happy to take push back on my team selection just bring your argument to the comments section below.