2020 State of Origin Queensland v New South Wales Outright Tips

Dave Kuzio:
Boyd Cordner - State of Origin 2020

The 2020 State of Origin is now upon us – albeit a little later than normal – with Game 1 taking place on Wednesday, November 4 at the Adelaide Oval. Take a look at the betting odds for this year's series.

State of Origin Tips: Queensland v New South Wales

State of Origin is one of the most entertaining and brutal series of matches in world sport. These guys are team-mates one week, then mortal enemies the next. If you don’t quite understand what I mean, check out the video below. You soon will.

It’s safe to say that rugby league fans around the world get just excited about State of Origin than they do following their own team. There is something about two teams going hell to leather against each for the honour of the state they were born in.

Why Does It Mean So Much?

Before 1980, State of Origin wasn’t seen as the big deal it is today. From 1908 the interstate series between Queensland and New South Wales saw players selected for the state they played their rugby league in, rather than where they were born.

With all the top players wanting to play their club rugby in Sydney, New South Wales had the pick of the best when it came to the interstate games. By 1956, New South Wales had won 75% of the games with Queensland taking only 25%.

During the 1970s, the interest in the interstate series had dwindled a lot. No one in both New South Wales and Queensland were interested because of the one-sided nature of the games.

The idea of playing a three-match series with Queensland allowed to select players playing in Sydney was agreed on with the first two games acting as a trial for selection to the Australia national team.

The 1980 interstate series saw the first two games being played under the normal rules, while a third game named ‘State of Origin’ was to take place in Queensland and was played under the new selection rules. The Sydney media didn’t believe it would work, but over 33 thousand fans turned up to Lang Park in Brisbane to see Arthur Beetson – who had played for NSW on 18 occasions – make his Queensland debut at the age of 35.

You could see the pride leaping out of his chest as he finally got to represent the state he was born in and the Maroons ended up winning the game 20-10 and that was how State of Origin was born.

Every Queenslander wanted to play for their state now and they took immense pride in doing so. A lot of players in the past had admitted they would rather play State of Origin than actually play for Australia.

The three-game State of Origin series is still going strong in 2020 and we are once again in for a treat when the Blues and Maroons literally lock horns. Money and trophies mean nothing in this game, State of Origin is all about pride – it’s as simple as that.

2020 State of Origin Series

 The 2020 Series was delayed earlier in the season, but we are ready for it now. When the Series was originally scheduled, Kevin Walters was the head coach of Queensland – he is not anymore. After Walters took up the head coaches role at his former club Brisbane Broncos, he relinquished the reigns of the Maroons.

Before you Queensland fans despair, he will be replaced for the 2020 Series by legendary coach Wayne Bennett. This will be his fourth spell as coach of the Maroons. He first took over in 1986 and guided them to five wins from nine matches, his second spell ran two years in two different competitions – he was in charge of them during the Super League War in 1997 and continued in 1998 when everything was resolved. His last reign was from 2001-03 when he once again won five from nine. He is now back in charge and looking to end a run of two consecutive Series defeats.

New South Wales are coached by former captain Brad Fittler, who represented the Blues 31 times, and he has worked miracles with the players at his disposal. When ‘Freddy’ Fittler took over as head coach in 2018, the Blues had only won one of the last 12 series’. Queensland were so dominant, it wasn’t funny. They won eight in a row from 2006 to 2013. Their run came to an end in 2014, but it didn’t last long as they won the next three Origin series’.

Things were looking bleak for the Blues, but Fittler brought some pride and fun to the role. His first series as coach of his beloved Blues saw his side win the series 2-1. To ensure this wasn’t a fluke, he masterminded back-to-back series wins with another two successes. He will be looking to guide NSW to three successive victories for the first time since 2003-05.

State of Origin Tips: Queensland v New South Wales

At the start of the season, I had backed Queensland to win the 2020 State of Origin Series, but then the season came to a premature end. Since the season restarted my mind has changed, I have been fortunate to have watched near enough every game this season in the NRL, and the players Fittler has selected in his squad are top class and I think they will be too strong for the Maroons.

The Blues are loaded with top-quality players. The likes of James Tedesco, Josh Addo-Carr, Jack Wighton, Damian Cook and Ivan Cleary are capable of winning games on their own. If these players are on top form, then they will have a great chance of winning the series again.

Having said that, they have named some players without any Origin experience, but they have performed so well all season, I cannot see them being fazed by anything. Melbourne Storm full-back Ryan Papenhuyzen, who won the Clive Churchill Medal for man of the match in the Grand Final, is one of a few new faces in the Blues squad.

Papenhuyzen has been nothing short of amazing this season, and he has been rewarded with the chance to play Origin footy. He might not have done enough to have replaced James Tedesco as number one, but Tedesco finally has some competition for that jersey. Only time will tell whether or not Fittler goes with Papenhuyzen or Tedesco.

The reason I have gone back on my original decision to back the Maroons is because they will have at least seven debutants in their starting line-up for Game 1. Queensland have named inexperienced players in the past, and it has paid off, but I cannot see them troubling the Blues this year.

Bennett is already without his star player in Kalyn Ponga, who has opted to have off-season surgery to be ready for the Newcastle Knights in 2021. Altogether there will be 17 new faces in their 27-man squad with Corey Allan, AJ Brimson, Xavier Coates, Tino Fa’asuamaleaui, Jake Friend, Harry Grant, Josh Kerr, Brenko Lee and Dunamis Lui among the players looking to play Origin for the first time.

Don’t get me wrong, Queensland have named some top-quality players, but whether they can make the step up to Origin is a different matter entirely. Not all good club players can handle the representative stage.

I just think that Fittler has a more settled squad, he has named nine new players himself, but with the likes of Tedesco, Cleary, Boyd Cordner, Addo-Carr and Jake Trbojevic they have enough experience to win a third successive Series.

Overall, I am backing New South Wales to win this Series 2-1. This might confuse you as I have written off Queensland’s chances, but I am expecting the Blues to go 2-0 up in the Series, and from what I know about Origin, Queensland will pull out all the stops not to lose a Series 3-0 especially with Game 3 being in Queensland.

Game 1

Queensland vs New South Wales – Wednesday, November 4 2020 @ Adelaide Oval, Adelaide

Game 2

New South Wales vs Queensland – Wednesday, November 11 2020 @ ANZ Stadium, Sydney

Game 3

Queensland vs New South Wales – Wednesday, November 18 2020 @ Sunshine Coast Stadium, Sunshine Coast

State of Origin: Queensland v New South Wales Squads

New South Wales Blues Origin squad

Nathan Brown, Josh Addo-Carr, Reagan Campbell-Gillard, Nathan Cleary, Damien Cook, Boyd Cordner, Nick Cotric, Angus Crichton, Stephen Crichton, Dale Finucane, Tyson Frizell, Clint Gutherson, Payne Haas, Luke Keary, Zac Lomax, Larome Luai, Cameron McInnes, Cameron Murray, Ryan Papenhuyzen, Junior Paulo, Daniel Saifiti, James Tedesco, Jake Trbojevic, Daniel Tupou, Cody Walker, Jack Wighton, Isaah Yeo

Queensland Origin squad

Corey Allan, Jai Arrow, AJ Brimson, Patrick Carrigan, Kurt Capewell, Daly Cherry-Evans, Xavier Coates, Lindsay Collins, Tino Faasuamaleaui, Moeaki Fotuaika, Jake Friend, Dane Gagai, Harry Grant, Coen Hess, Valentine Holmes, Ben Hunt, Hymel Hunt, Felise Kaufusi, Josh Kerr, Brenko Lee, Edrick Lee, Dunamis Lui, Cameron Munster, Josh Papalii, Phillip Sami, Jaydn Su’A, Christian Welch

State of Origin Tips: Queensland v New South Wales