Five reasons why NSW will win Origin I
HERE are five reasons why the NSW Blues will deliver on the hopes of punters and their long-suffering fans in Origin I.
The Hayne Plane is back
Even in the absolute lowest years of Queensland domination, Jarryd Hayne always gave the Maroons trouble.
Now he's back and primed to wreak havoc once again. Watch for the Blues to get him plenty of early ball so he can terrorise Justin O'Neill.
Players like James Tedesco, Nathan Peats, Wade Graham and Tyson Frizell aren't scarred by the defeats of the past. They're young, hungry and ready to do some damage.
Tedesco in particular was excellent on debut in Game III last year.
Queensland are breaking down
No Greg Inglis, no Matt Scott, no Corey Parker and no Johnathan Thurston. Let's face it - this isn't your dad's Maroons side.
Queensland haven't play a match without Thurston since 2004 and as talented as Anthony Milford may be he's untested in league's toughest arena.
You'd be a fool to take Queensland lightly, but they're more vulnerable than they've been in a long time.
Blues big men can dominate
Aaron Woods and David Klemmer are among the best props in the world. Nate Myles is about as threatening as a bubble bath. The Blues have a clear ascendancy in the middle of the field and it's an advantage they should exploit whenever they can.
If NSW can dominate the middle third of the field, they should go a long way to winning this game.
Pearce is different
Mitchell Pearce is one of the most maligned Origin players in history, but things could be different this time. There is no Robbie Farah, so the team will play Pearce's way.
He is playing some of his best football with the Roosters and says he's a different player to last time.
All signs point to Pearce dominating Cooper Cronk tonight.