Kanga-Blues: NSW the superior rugby league state

NSW has cleaned up in back-to-back State of Origin series - and now it is time for them to again dominate the Australian Test team like they haven't done for years.

If Mal Meninga was to select his team on the form shown over the three match series you would have to say only two Queensland backs would make the starting side along with two forwards.

Of course the biggest talking point coming out of NSW's thrilling 26-20 victory was the marvellous performances of the rival No 1s with James Tedesco and Cameron Munster clearly the best for their respective teams.

Munster was the clear stand out in the first half while Tedesco created the line break that led to the Blues' only first half try.

But when the game was on the line in the second half it was Tedesco who really carried NSW to victory in their first series decider win in Sydney since 2004.

Munster was absolutely magnificent finishing with 18 runs for 162m and three tackle busts while Tedesco racked up 18 runs for 222m that included two tries, 10 tackle busts and four line breaks.

It will go down as one of the truly great Origin performances.

The obvious answer for Meninga would be to play Munster at five-eighth but there is no question he's probably at his most dangerous at fullback.

 

 

But Daly Cherry-Evans should not get the halfback spot ahead of James Maloney regardless of the fact he is the Queensland captain and that Maloney is 33.

Corey Oates was the other Queensland back that would put pressure on Meninga for a starting spot after last night's effort that that included 18 runs for 214m, second only to Tedesco.

In the forwards Josh Papalii would have to be a starting front rower while Felise Kaufusi would also be in the reckoning given he was outstanding in Origin I and top shelf again last night.

But the Blues earned their victory and they deserve to be rewarded.

The Australian starting team on this year's Origin series should be: James Tedesco, Josh Addo-Carr, Jack Wighton, Tom Trbojevic, Corey Oates, Cameron Munster, James Maloney, Jake Trbojevic, Felise Kaufusi, Boyd Cordner (C), Josh Papalii, Damien Cook, David Klemmer.

Klemmer again made the most metres (115) of the forwards while Cordner (106) was next best.

Off the bench Dale Finucane (95m) and Cameron Murray (91m) were both superb and you'd have to think if they can continue their form in the run to the finals they will also be pushing for a Kangaroo call-up.

 

 

The victorious Blues will fill the Kangaroos side. Picture: AAP
The victorious Blues will fill the Kangaroos side. Picture: AAP

 

Tyson Frizell on past performances would be another Blue right in the mix while Josh McGuire, love him or hate him, just can't be denied.

It was really one of the great fullback battles but Tedesco thoroughly earned the player of the series award.

He has been just about the NRL's standout this year and by looks of things his game is only going to get better given he is 26 and coming into the prime of his career.

But Queensland deserve plenty of credit for the way they fought back.

We all thought Kalyn Ponga's injury had robbed Queensland of any chance but Munster's effort was instrumental in their turnaround.

When Billy Slater retired Munster made no secret that fullback was his preferred position.

And while Craig Bellamy made a decision to play him at 6 it will be interesting to see how Queensland handle it going forward, especially given Corey Norman on debut never showed any sign of nerves and he will be putting his hand up again next year.

A couple of years ago this scenario of NSW dominating the Test team would have been unimaginable when Queensland were smashing the Blues but the tide has well and truly turned.

NSW is clearly now the superior rugby league state and they should be rewarded at the end of the season.

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