Stats say NSW no hope in State of Origin - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Stats say NSW no hope in State of Origin

Wayne Heming 20/05/2011 12:27:08 PM Comments (0)

They're not quite Paul Vautin's massive underdogs but the experience void between NSW's key position players and Queensland's super six makes for scary reading for Blues' fans.

Matching up the individual records of rival fullbacks, halves, hookers and front-rows highlights the enormous job facing NSW coach Ricky Stuart to stop the Maroon juggernaut which has already rolled to a record five straight series wins since 2006.

But, as Vautin proved in 1995 when his collection of "second stringers" pulled off a stunning series clean sweep with their superstars banned at the height of the Super League war, anything is possible in State of Origin.

Statistics say NSW are hopelessly outclassed in all the influential positions.

Fullback Billy Slater has played 14 Origins and 14 Tests.

His NSW counterpart Josh Dugan hasn't played on either stage.

It's a similar story in the halves where Darren Lockyer (33) and Johnathan Thurston (18) have 51 Origins between them compared to just three by rookie No.7 Jamie Soward (0) and Mitchell Pearce (3).

Up front, Queensland props Petero Civoniceva (27) and Matt Scott (5) far outweigh inexperienced pairing Kade Snowden (1) and Jason King (1).

It's the same in the vital dummy half role where hooker Cameron Smith with 21 Origins goes up against Blues niggler Michael Ennis, who has played four times for NSW.

Smith has also played 23 Tests.

Queensland's side averages 26.1 Tests and 19.3 Origins per player while the Blues are short on representative expertise averaging just one Test and 1.5 Origins apiece.

Whichever way you look at it - on paper at least - Queensland has NSW covered.

They've also got the three best players in the world - Thurston, Smith and Slater - take your pick in what order.

Renowned enforcer Paul Gallen is the only NSW player who would push for inclusion in the top 10 world rankings list.

And if Wednesday night's game happens to be on the line with a few minutes remaining, there's still no better man in a crisis than Lockyer who'll equal Allan Langer's record of 34 Origin appearances.

"I wouldn't swap him for anyone, he never ever gets rattled," said halfback and sidekick Johnathan Thurston.

While facts and figures lean heavily towards Queensland's pack dominating, former Maroon hard man Greg Dowling has warned against taking the Blues pack too lightly.

"I don't think Queensland will dominate, they (NSW) have got a very good working pack," said Dowling, scorer of the famous Origin crossbar try in the mud in Sydney in 1984.

"Any pack with the Blues' Brothers (Paul Gallen and Greg Bird) has to be respected.

"Kade Snowden is like Matt Scott a few years ago, he's one of the good young props coming through.

"He's played for Australia so he knows what to expect."

Dowling believes Queensland will get home on the back of its 1-7-9 combination with the usual input from Lockyer.

But not as easily as some may think.

"That's what happened in the Test against the Kiwis and that will be Queensland's edge on Wednesday night," said Dowling.

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