With injuries to Origin stalwarts Johnathan Thurston and Darius Boyd ruling them out for Game III, speculation on the optimum XXXX Queensland Maroons team for the decider is rife.
Several Maroons played in unfamiliar positions in Queensland’s 18-16 Game II win at ANZ Stadium, adding to the possible combinations for a Game III reshuffle.
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For State of Mind ambassador and former Origin player David Shillington, the key to Game III is the bench utility role.
“I think Michael Morgan has earned his start in the halves, but I rate him as a better all-round utility player, which we need on the bench. He might have to take a back-seat for the good of the team and stay on the bench in Game III,” he said. “So I would start Daly Cherry-Evans at five-eighth.”
Despite some public debate about our forwards’ performance in Game II, the eight-game Maroons front-rower is not up for new blood. “I wouldn’t change the forwards. That’s the thing about Origin: you get the win, you get the job done, you generally keep your spot.”
As far as a recall for Sam Thaiday to the second row, Shillington admits it’s a very tough call. “I’d love to say, ‘Bring back Sam to play the house down in his 30th Origin’,” he says, “but that wouldn’t be fair to the young guys who helped us win Game II.”