STATE of Origin deciders bring a special kind of intensity and level of skill to the game of Rugby League.
With everything on the line, these games rarely disappoint.
One of the true challenges of the Origin decider for punters is predicting who will be named man of the match. Which player out of the game’s absolute elite out-shown the rest? Who carried their state to Origin glory?
With a host of stars across both sides, gaining a healthy return on this market is dependent on your selected player putting in a supreme performance.
New South Wales’ centre Michael Jennings was a surprise packet for the honour in game two and returned $15.00 from Crownbet.com.au.
Here are the two sides and each players chance and odds of taking out the best on ground award, decided by the Australian selectors.
State of Origin Man of the Match odds
1 – Greg Inglis – $9.00 at Crownbet.com.au
Will absolutely relish the switch to fullback, replacing the injured Billy Slater and will be target number one for NSW on the kick-return. His speed combined with one of the best fends in the game will trouble the Blues’ defence all night.
2 – Darius Boyd – $81.00 at Crownbet.com.au and Sportsbet.com.au.
Hasn’t provided the spark or impact he had on last year’s series, however has shown some small glimpses of his try-scoring ability. Will need to combine with his centre pairing (name) to be any chance of taking out this award and getting his name on the scoreboard.
3 – Will Chambers – $51.00 at Crownbet.com.au and Sportsbet.com.au.
Had a blinder in game one, however was well contained in game two by the New South Wales’ defence. Will need a huge performance to outshine his fellow teammates and needs to get involved with running the ball.
4 – Justin Hodges – $26.00 at Crownbet.com.au.
Has been solid in both games, but hasn’t produced anything outstanding. His age is starting to catch up with him, considering the speed of these matches continues to increase.
5 – Dane Gagai – $81.00 at Crownbet.com.au and Sportsbet.com.au.
The Newcastle Knights winger will make his debut for Queensland and faces a tough test against New South Wales’ rock-solid defence. Will need to be heavily involved in this match.
6 – Johnathan Thurston – $6.50 at Crownbet.com.au and Sportsbet.com.au.
Always amongst the favourites for the man of the match award, Thurston was contained by the Blues’ extremely well in game two, however his kicking game, running ability and general direction of the side will see him play a huge role in the outcome of this decider.
7 – Cooper Cronk – $11.00 at Sportsbet.com.au.
Cronk returns in place of Cherry-Evans and will add a huge dynamic to this side, along with this outstanding combination with Thurston in the halves. In a close content, Cronk could well be the deciding factor and isn’t far away from the best on ground.
8 – Matt Scott – $23.00 at Crownbet.com.au and Sportsbet.com.au.
Does his job and gets through a stack of work, however with many class forwards on the field, with have to produce a herculean effort to be noticed by the selectors.
9 – Cameron Smith – $10.00 at Crownbet.com.au.
Always in the mix for not only man of the match, but player of the series. Was contained well by the Blues’ in game two, however Smith rarely puts two quiet performances back to back and with Cronk back in the number seven, Cameron will be heavily involved in the attacking game plan and if Queensland are successful, will certainly be a front-runner for selection.
10 – Nate Myles – $34.00 at Crownbet.com.au and Sportsbet.com.au.
Like Scott, Myles does his job in the front-row, taking plenty of hit ups and making important takes, yet hasn’t done anything outstanding in the series thus far that would warrant man of the match honours.
11 – Aiden Guerra – $34.00 at Crownbet.com.au.
Has been solid in both games, without producing a stand-out performance. Is reliable in defence, and carries the ball hard, but will need to produce more.
12 – Sam Thaiday – $26.00 at Crownbet.com.au.
Always runs the ball hard and troubles the defence, however his statistics in game two weren’t over impressive. With limited game time in the last origin, he will need to produce an enormous effort to crowned man of the match.
13 – Corey Parker- $15.00 at Crownbet.com.au.
Was brilliant in game two and racked up a stack of metres and tackles for his side. His outstanding goal-kicking ability, will be a vital tool for the Maroons on Wednesday night and don’t be surprised if he’s named Queensland’s best, at 33 years of age.
14 – Michael Morgan – $51.00 at crownbet.com.au and Sportsbet.com.au
15 – Josh Papalli – $101.00 at Sportsbet.com.auand crownbet.com.au
16 – Matt Gillett – $34.00 at Sportsbet.com.auand crownbet.com.au
17 – Jacob Lillyman – $101.00 at Sportsbet.com.au and crownbet.com.au
New South Wales Blues:
1 – Josh Dugan – $13.00 at Sportsbet.com.au
Has been one of New South Wales’ best in both games, producing some outstanding kick returns and troubling the Queensland defence with every touch. If Dugan continues his form into this match, he will be an instrumental part of the Blues’ success and is at great odds for punters to take out man of the match honours.
2 – Brett Morris – $81.00 at Sportsbet.com.au.
Shifting from his usual position at fullback, Morris was solid in game two and did all he could from the wing position. It’s difficult to be considered for man of the match when you don’t receive a great percentage of the ball, however a couple of tries on the board, combined with his rock-solid defence, will definitely place him in the mix amongst discussions.
3 – Michael Jennings – $34.00 at Crownbet.com.au.
Quite surprisingly after Jennings brilliant in effort in game two, his odds still remain very enticing to be named best on ground. Looked dangerous every time he touched the ball in Melbourne and opened New South Wales’ account with a dazzling solo effort. His lightning-fast speed will be an asset for the Blues’ halves in the decider and needs to be used to get him noticed by the selection panel.
4 – Josh Morris – $41.00 at Crownbet.com.au and Sportsbet.com.au.
Has done an outstanding job containing Inglis in the past couple of series and is always a reliable defender on the edges. His combination with twin brother Josh has produced some thrilling tries and will be mentioned if he produces a stand-out effort.
5 – Will Hopoate – $151.00 at Sportsbet.com.au.
Hasn’t lived up to expectations in this series, particularly with his involvement with the ball. Takes a few hit ups and has been solid in defence, however needs to produce a spectacular effort to be considered for man of the match.
6 – Mitchell Pearce – $15.00 at Sportsbet.com.au and Crownbet.com.au.
Pearce continues to prove his critics wrong, with two impressive performances thus far. Clearly outshining his halves partner Hodkinson, much of the ball playing, combined with his solid running game has been attributed to the Blues’ success in game two. Pearce needs to adopt some of Hodkinson’s calmness and stick to his natural game, rather than trying to be too fancy and he should be in the mix for man of the match if the team secures their second-straight series win.
7 – Trent Hodkinson – $26.00 at Sportsbet.com.au
Played his best game of the season last Monday night for the Bulldogs against the Storm, showing glimpses of his 2014 form that led the Bulldogs to a grand final berth. Exuding a smart kicking game, along with making the most of his opportunities on the fringes, Hodkinson’s calmness under pressure will be a huge advantage in the latter stages for New South Wales on Wednesday night. If he repeats his performance from last week, will certainly place him in good stead to be considered for man of the match.
8 – James Tamou – $34.00 at Crownbet.com.au and Sportsbet.com.au.
Has been a workhorse in both games, making good metres from his hit-ups and also providing good cover in defence. Has been a great addition to the New South Wales’ side without producing anything outstanding and will be looking to provide great service for his backs again on Wednesday night. Will need to outshine Aaron Woods for man of the match consideration.
9 – Robbie Farah – $11.00 at Crownbet.com.au and Sportsbet.com.au.
Hasn’t been officially ruled out yet, but the outlook is bleak for Farah, who suffered a broken hand and underwent surgery last week. Was solid as a rock in game two and contributed to his team’s performance with some smart kicking options. Farah is likely to be replaced by Cronulla Sharks hooker Michael Ennis if he fails the fitness test, however should he happen to play, will get through his usual workload and add to the Blues’ attack with his kicking and passing game.
10 – Aaron Woods – $15.00 at crownbet.com.au.
Woods not only has a huge chance of being named player of the match, but is a front-runner for New South Wales’ player of the series. Stood up in game two as a force to be reckoned with, with barnstorming hit-ups and produced a brilliant solo effort to crash over the line for a try. The halves job will be made a lot easier feeding off the back of Woods, who’s youth and enthusiasm continues to worry the Queensland defence.
11 – Beau Scott – $26.00 at crownbet.com.au and Sportsbet.com.au.
An outstanding defender, who produced some crunching tackles in game two and will be called upon again to stop Queensland’s attacking raids. Hasn’t produced anything spectacular this far, however Scott’s only focus will be on getting through his workload and supporting his teammates.
12 – Ryan Hoffman – $23.00 at Sportsbet.com.au.
Has been a surprise packet this series, with a great work ethic in both games so far. Always chews up a heap of metres in attack and puts his body on the line in defence. Watch for Hoffman to stand up and be counted in the decider, with a man of the match award certainly on the cards.
13 – Paul Gallen – $13.00 at Sportsbet.com.au.
Will go into this match nursing the rib injury he suffered in game two, however that won’t stop the Blues’ captain from getting through a mountain of work and leading his side around the park. Always produces inspiring efforts in attack and defence and is always in the mix for man of the match awards.
14 – Trent Merrin – $67.00 at Sportsbet.com.au and Crownbet.com.au
15 – Boyd Cordner – $67.00 at Sportsbet.com.au
16 – David Klemmer – $34.00 at Sportsbet.com.au
17 – Josh Jackson – $126.00 at Sportsbet.com.au
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