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15 Dec 2017 23:06
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  •   Home > News > Sports > Rugby League

    Qld front-row harkens back to Super League

    Queensland will field their most inexperienced starting front row since the Super League war in State of Origin II on Wednesday night.

    - article from www.rugbyleague.co.nz

    Craig Smith
    Craig Smith

    NSW have the opportunity on Wednesday to exploit the most inexperienced Queensland front row since the Super League war as the Blues look to wrap up the State of Origin series in game two.

    Statistics show the gulf in experience between the props from the two sides.

    Maroons' starting front row Dylan Napa (one game) and Jarrod Wallace (debut) are the Queenslanders' greenest since game one of the 1997 series, according to Fox Sports Stats.

    In that game, with both sides depleted by the Super League war and half of the game's best players featuring in the rebel competition, the Maroons fielded journeymen Craig Smith and Neil Tierney in their front row.

    Heading into the clash at ANZ Stadium, Queensland still have just eight games experience between their four props when bench players Josh Papalii (seven games) and debutant Tim Glasby are factored in.

    For the Blues there's 20 games of Origin between starting props Aaron Woods (12) and Andrew Fifita (8) with another eight from the bench in David Klemmer (7) and Jake Trbojevic (1).

    The Blues forwards, excluding their hookers, also boast more experience with 50 Origin games between them compared to Queensland's 37.

    Walters swung the axe following their game one loss with veterans Nate Myles and Sam Thaiday making way for Queensland's new breed.

    "They're going to have a lot of energy and enthusiasm," said Woods, who didn't want to talk up what appears to be an obvious advantage for the Blues.

    "It's something you really need in Origin.

    "They've lost a couple of players but they've got other great players who have come into the squad. It's not going to hinder their performance at all."

    Finding a counter for Fifita also shapes as key to Queensland's hopes of sending the series to a decider.

    The Cronulla prop set up two tries, scored one himself and charged for 168m in one of the most memorable individual Origin performances of the last few years in game one.

    Sydney Roosters firebrand Napa was brought in to counter NSW's size and strength in Origin I however was restricted because of a foot injury while incumbent Australian forward Papalii has been shifted from the edge to the middle.

    Woods said while Queensland's props were short on Origin experience, they had plenty of big matches under their belt.

    "Papalii has played a lot for Australia as well, Naps has played semi-finals," he said.

    "They've played big games. It won't change their mindset. It's just a normal game, they'll go out and do their best."


    NZN




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