Maroons Squad Remains Unchanged

Chairman, Coach and Captain at the team announcement. (SOURCE: Queensland Maroons Facebook)

Chairman, Coach and Captain at the team announcement. (SOURCE: Queensland Maroons Facebook)

The final game is coming up, the cliffhanger of rugby league. The decider of State of Origin. As always, I look forward to the naming of the Maroons squad and was quite surprised to see that there were no changes to the team and wondered, “Is that a good idea or a bad idea?” Here is your Queensland team for the Origin Decider:

1. Billy Slater
2. Darius Boyd
3. Greg Inglis
4. Justin Hodges
5. Brent Tate
6. Johnathan Thurston
7. Cooper Cronk
8. Matt Scott
9. Cameron Smith (c)
10. Nate Myles
11. Chris McQueen
12. Sam Thaiday
13. Corey Parker
14. Daly Cherry-Evans
15. Ben Te’o
16. Matt Gillett
17. Josh Papali’i
18. Jacob Lillyman
19. Will Chambers

Coming off a clear victory over the Blues in game two, it would make sense that the team that performed so well together would remain intact. However, with omissions from the game one squad like Shillington and Harrison, the former of which I have a personal soft spot for, is it exactly the wisest move?

There are those within the squad that would remain “untouched” – Slater, Smith, Inglis and Cronk just to name a few, essentially meaning that they can get comfortable because unless an injury occurs, their spot in the team is pretty much guaranteed. The others on the team, as talented as they are, have to work hard to earn their spot on the squad and that is where the changes happen.

One of the most consistent players on the Queensland side, keeping up an impressive form throughout the 2013 Origin series has been my fave Corey Parker. Playing as an interchange in game one, Parker put on a great performance with some good runs and tackles, possibly being one of the main Queenslanders for game one, earning himself the no. 13 jersey in game two over Ashley Harrison. Continuing his terrific form in game two, it was no shock to me that Parker retained his Lock status for the decider, which isn’t a knock on Harrison in the slightest as Parker’s performances this year have been some of his best in his career.

Another interchange Cinderella story happens in the form of young Rabbitoh Chris McQueen. Also coming off the bench to put on a great performance in game one, McQueen seized a starting position in game two in the second row. His fantastic form in game two also contributed to the fact that the squad has remained the same.

Even with the loss of Origin players like Shillington and Harrison, the successful game two squad are looking to continue the momentum in the decider and make it 8 in a row. Bias aside, I believe that we’ve got this one. The Maroons put on a rugby clinic in game two and with the added pressure of the deciding victory in game three, it will only motivate the squad to keep on truckin’ up hill and defeat the Blues on their own turf.

Of course, if I don’t achieve victory next week, I hope for an excellent game of league that’ll keep me on my toes for the full 80 minutes – literally on my toes as I tend to skip around when excited.

Here’s to a great game of league and an 8-in-a-row Maroons victory.

– by Noah La’ulu

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