You have skipped the navigation, tab for page content
Ultimate Guide: Origin II

The State of Origin series is now in full swing, with Queensland looking to take out one of their most unexpected and famous series wins since the days of Fatty Vautin's 'Nevilles' in 1995.

The Blues will be looking to ruin the party and put themselves back on track for a maiden 'three-peat' in the Origin arena since 2005.

There's plenty to look forward to, especially if you're an nib Newcastle Knights fan, with three of our boys in the respective squads.

We've broken it all down, with a special Knights focus ahead of the big game!


Date: Wednesday, November 11

Kick-off: 8:10pm AEDT

Venue: ANZ Stadium, Sydney


The game will be broadcast live and exclusive on Channel Nine's Wide World of Sports. Coverage begins from 7:30pm.


Played: 118

QLD: 63

NSW: 53

Draws: 2


Game I: QLD 18-14 NSW


The big news is Game I stars Boyd Cordner, Cameron Murray and AJ Brimson have all been ruled out for the series following injuries suffered in the opening clash in Adelaide.

The Maroons have been bolstered by the return of Valentine Holmes, who slots into the side in place of Brimson.

South of the border, Luke Keary has been dropped from the NSW team, with Cody Walker elevated to the starting side.

James Tedesco will take the captaincy for the Blues in Cordner's absence, while Dale Finucane, Isaah Yeo, Junior Paulo and Nathan Brown make up a new-look bench.

Meanwhile, nib Newcastle Knights prop Daniel Saifiti has been named to start in the front row for the Blues, while Edrick Lee and Hymel Hunt both missed out on spots in the Queensland backline.

New South Wales

1. James Tedesco (c), 2. Daniel Tupou, 3. Clint Gutherson, 4. Jack Wighton, 5. Josh Addo-Carr, 6. Cody Walker, 7. Nathan Cleary, 8. Daniel Saifiti, 9. Damien Cook, 10. Payne Haas, 11. Angus Crichton, 12. Tyson Frizell, 13. Jake Trbojevic. Interchange: 14. Dale Finucane, 15. Junior Paulo, 16. Nathan Brown, 17. Isaah Yeo, 20. Cam McInnes, 21. Stephen Crichton.


1. Valentine Holmes, 2. Xavier Coates, 3. Kurt Capewell, 4. Dane Gagai, 5. Phillip Sami, 6. Cameron Munster, 7. Daly Cherry-Evans (c), 8. Dunamis Lui, 9. Jake Friend, 10. Josh Papalii, 11. Felise Kaufusi, 12. Jaydn Su'A, 13. Tino Fa'asuamaleaui. Interchange: 14. Ben Hunt, 15. Lindsay Collins, 16. Jai Arrow, 17. Moeaki Fotuaika, 20. Josh Kerr, 21. Edrick Lee.


Just last year, Daniel Saifiti was the baby of the NSW forward pack.

Now, he's the leader.

Saifiti ran for 157 run metres, with 88 coming post-contact. Both of these numbers were higher than any of his colleagues in the Blues' pack.


For the second year running, the Blues find themselves needing to win the series the hard way.

Incredibly, the Blues went down in Game I, 2019 by the exact same scoreline as they did at the Adelaide Oval last week.

Everyone south of the border will be hoping they can turn it around in a similar fashion to last year.


After scoring eight tries in just five appearances prior to his stint in the NFL, Maroons fullback Valentine Holmes will make his long awaited return to the Origin arena.

Holmes played just 12 games in 2020 and missed Game I due to suspension, however the Blues are aware of the extra leg Holmes seems to grow at Origin level.

Holmes will also provide an alternative goal kicking option for his side, after kicking at over 70% this year.


ANZ Stadium has proved to be a fruitful venue for the Blues in recent years, with their last loss at the venue being in 2017.

Queensland have typically been made to fight incredibly hard for their wins, with their last Sydney victory by more than two points coming in 2010.


In good news for Queenslanders, the 1-0 lead they currently hold has proven to be vital over the course of the Origin's 40 year history.

Of the 38 three-game series played so far, the team that wins Game 1 has gone on to win the series 28 times.


Incredibly, not a single player who will take the park has ever kicked a field goal at Origin level.

In fact, the last four have all come from Queensland, in 2015, 2012, 2010 and 2007.

NSW last booted a one pointer way back in 2006, that being Brett Finch's memorable match winner in Game I.

If Wednesday night goes down to a shootout, Daly Cherry-Evans (21 at Club level) and Nathan Cleary (seven) will be the go-to men for their respective states.

Your team needs you: Joey's call to arms for Blues fans


The Blues actually came out on top in many of the key statistics last week, including run metres, post contact metres, line breaks and tackle breaks.

But there's one area where they fell behind: Their completion rate.

Sitting at just 75%, and with the match-sealing try coming directly from a NSW error, it proved to be the difference.


Jake Friend well and truly took his opportunity in the Queensland jersey, making a game-high 54 tackles and a handy 64 run metres out of dummy half.

The Sydney Roosters No.9 will look to solidify his place in the team, as well as secure a series win for his team in the process.