Maroons activate 'Plan B' for Origin defence

Nick Mcbride
June 13, 2017

I have played 13 games this year and we won the penalty count four times.

"I think Paul would prefer he wasn't in the side, so we didn't ask Greeny", Walters said.

The Blues were dominant in Origin I against a depleted Maroons outfit.

"You got Thurston and Slater - you know where they're going to play".

Boyd is widely tipped to move to left centre where he's expected to partner debutant Valentine Holmes, with Will Chambers shifting to the right channel alongside winger Dane Gagai.

Walters said it was time to inject new blood after the NSW pack dominated the Maroons in Brisbane. But with our recent results we felt there was a need for change.

"You can't really say that about a rugby league side, that you got beaten in the forwards and still win a game. It was painful and Sam was bitterly disappointed but also he understands the position we were in", Walters said.

After preparing for the past 10 matches away from Sydney the Blues will base themselves right in the heart of the city ahead of game two.

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Johnathan Thurston and Billy Slater both find their way back into the QLD squad, as the axe has been swung and a number of reps from game one's abysmal effort find themselves on the outer.

But with Slater back and forcing Darius Boyd elsewhere in the backline, the big winger will make way, while Justin O'Neill will be a predictable casualty after a hard night in game one.

"With his size and the way he plays the game he's probably more suited to the forwards, but he's made a fist of it on the wing".

Up front veterans Myles and Lillyman see their tenures come to an end, though the latter may yet earn a reprieve should rookie Jarrod Wallace be ruled out due to suspension.

It could become one of the game's more interesting subplots, with Fifita looking almost unstoppable in the Blues' 28-4 victory in game one.

Gold Coast Titans prop Jarrod Wallace has been named despite facing a ban for a shoulder charge, Melbourne's Tim Glasby adds some more size to the middle - an area dominated by the Blues in game one.

Yes, Johnathan Thurston is back, and Billy Slater too, after his shock and quite frankly wrong omission from game one, but Queensland are anxious that there were too many under-performers in game one and that they'll need more than what those two can bring to the table as they prepare to face a blue barrage at ANZ Stadium, where 80,000-odd New South Welshman will be doing everything in their power to propel the Blues on to a series-clinching win.

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