Hello everybody and welcome to live coverage of Origin II from Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane. Kick-off between Queensland and New South Wales is 7.50pm.
After the one-sided opening contest in Townsville and Queensland’s calamitous week at the selection table, this fixture has an ominous air about it. The Blues will rarely, if ever, have been more heavily favoured to cross the Tweed and turn over the Maroons in their own back yard.
Round one was a mismatch but Paul Green hasn’t been able to make major surgery to his group with injuries and bad luck stalking him. Reece Walsh was the talking point for most of the week – until the teenager suffered an injury, then his replacement in the squad, Ronaldo Mulitalo found out he failed the eligibility requirements.
Brad Fittler must have spent the week grinning like the Cheshire Cat. His squad is awesome on paper, in fine form at both club and rep level, and tailor made to exploit any weaknesses in this madcap era of nonstop play-the-balls. If they get off to another fast start, who knows what the scoreboard might read by full time?