Big ask for Blues

The National,Tuesday June 21st, 2016

NEW South Wales travel to Suncorp Stadium looking to keep this year’s State of Origin Series alive after a thrilling 6-4 loss to Queensland in game one.
Blues coach Laurie Daley will be desperate to force Queensland into a decider, with the New South Welshman facing a 10th Origin series loss in 11 years if they come away from Brisbane on the wrong side of the ledger.
The Maroons are in good hands with coach Kevin Walters having a dream debut in charge, continuing where Mal Meninga left off.
Walters has been forced to make just one change to his team for game two, with veteran prop Nate Myles succumbing to a knee injury.
Jacob Lillyman will come onto the bench for the Maroons and Brisbane prop Josh McGuire receives his starting debut for Queensland.
NSW took a gamble in game one with some selection decisions that fell just short but Daley has stuck to his guns and selected a largely unchanged side for game two.
Second-row forward Boyd Cordner’s foot injury means he will miss the match, and ironically the man brought in for Cordner will also miss the clash, with Wade Graham copping a one-game suspension for his high tackle on Johnathan Thurston.
His bad luck is another man’s fortune, with Dragons star Tyson Frizell set to make his Blues debut off the bench.
Another Blues debutant for game two will be Cronulla utility Jack Bird off the bench after Josh Morris was ruled out with a groin injury and Dylan Walker was promoted to the starting team at right centre. Is this the dawn of a new Queensland dynasty under Kevin Walters or will NSW find something from within to keep the series alive and force a decider in Blues territory?
Watch out Maroons: It is said that there is nothing more dangerous than a desperate man with nothing to lose and the Blues have 17 primed to throw everything at Queensland in order to keep the series alive. There are a host of match-winners who can trouble the Maroons if they successfully throw caution to the wind but few match the destructive skill set of prop Andrew Fifita. NSW looked their most dangerous when Fifita came on in the second half and disrupted the resolute Queensland defensive line and then backed that up with 187 metres, six tackle busts and three offloads against the Maroons’ Cowboys contingent for the Sharks in round 14. He shapes as a difficult customer for a tiring Maroons defence to contain.
Watch out Blues: Suncorp Stadium is a scary prospect for NSW. Queensland have outscored the Blues 269-122 in the past 10 clashes at the venue. The Blues’ inability to score at the ground has been on show in recent history, with NSW scoring eight points or less in five of these matches — none more famous than their 52-6 loss in game three last year. The mental scars from that drubbing have to be still haunting Laurie Daley’s men as they return to the venue. The Blues will have to find some attacking spark if they are to outscore a Maroons team averaging almost 27 points a game at Suncorp Stadium. A hostile Queensland crowd will do their best to ensure this doesn’t happen, and if the Blues struggle early, we could see a repeat of past blowouts.  – NRL