New South Wales
The scene was set for the Blues to come out and dominate at home in Game 1, but a misfiring forward pack, plenty of mistakes and a lack of cohesion meant that they were unable to get the job done.
Several of the gambles that coach Brad Fittler made with his selections and plan in Game 1 simply did not work.
In response to that he has made enormous changes to his squad, as the Blues attempt to keep the 2022 State of Origin Series alive.
Jack Wighton’s COVID diagnosis and Kotoni Staggs’ omission means that the Blues will field a new-look centre pairing of Stephen Crichton and Matt Burton, while several changes have been made to the forward pack that all but failed to have an impact in Game 1.
Apisai Koroisau comes back into the squad and has been named starting hooker, relegating stalwart Damien Cook to the bench.
Notably, Sharks centre Siosifa Talakai has been named to make his debut on the bench, meaning that Nicho Hynes still hasn’t made the cut, and keeps his 18th-man jersey.
Vast improvement is required, but there is no denying New South Wales’ depth of talent and their best would certainly be good enough to force a Series decider.
New South Wales Blues Origin 2:
James Tedesco ©