TIM Glasby has a whitebread name and a whitebread approach to his footy. He is the great surprise in the Queensland team. He should be the great threat.

Glasby plays out of Melbourne, where the education is thorough.

If the theory that NSW had too much leg speed through the middle in Game I is even partially true, and it is, then Glasby arrives as the antidote.

Glasby prides himself on detail. He just gets it right, all the time, and this approach take him a long way towards tidying up the middle for Queensland so Andrew Fifita and Aaron Woods and David Klemmer can no longer roam free, like buffalo on the Serengeti.

Glasby is not big but he has a high workrate and a good bump and fall forward, which gives him a quick play-the-ball.

Cameron Smith loves playing with him. And behind Smith comes Cronk and now Thurston.

The Blues' easy ride lasted one game. Finally, in the face of common sense, age gives way for Queensland.

I don't see the Queensland changes as panic.

Coach Kevin Walters was restricted to doing things the Queensland way first time around. Weight of public opinion got him, and they write their own mythology in Queensland.

It meant Walters had to pick the incumbents no matter how much form and instinct told him that there were too many players too old and too out of form to beat even a half decent NSW team.

They built the dynasty, went the narrative, and they deserved the right to defend it.

So Walters went with Nate Myles, the old warhorse, and Aidan Guerra and Jacob Lillyman and Sam Thaiday who, between them, claim 83 Origin games.

That has all come to an end. Walters' seven changes deliver him the team he should have picked first time around. And so with it, everything suddenly changes for NSW.

Fifita's easy metres through the middle got a little harder. Woods' delightful first game now requires a little grit.

In hindsight, the Blues were gifted the first game. No Thurston, Billy Slater, and enough out of form warriors in the pack they couldn't manage to lift each other.

Alongside the unorthodox choice of Glasby is everyone's pick, Coen Hess.

Gavin Cooper attaches himself to Thurston's left hip, a constant threat.

Valentine Holmes comes in at right wing. Boyd moves to left wing and Billy Slater is back at fullback.

As simple as that. Queensland are far more threatening.

Slater will fill the middle. He will allow Queensland to play more like the Blues did in Origin I, Origin-style football, through the middle.

Put together, it means the one question that Queensland failed to ask the Blues in Game I now has a delivery date.

Traditionally, Origin is a game of momentum.

The better teams know it is crucial to score points when the momentum is going their way and equally as vital to absorb and minimise the points when under threat.

It sounds simple but there is a trick to recognising it within the pace of Origin.

Where Queensland failed to test NSW in Origin I was to see how the Blues would perform on the back foot. NSW began dominating early and nothing changed and the momentum remained theirs.

Things got a little stiffer on Monday.

Further south, Blues coach Laurie Daley had it easy at the selection table.

All his men from Game I were still fit and still available. The heaviest lifting Daley was required to do was lift a pen to write the same names onto the sheet.

Everything else is different, though.

News Corp Australia


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