Thurston to lead Maroons to glory

  • By: Ian Millward
  • Last Updated: June 24 2013, 11:25 BST

Ian Millward previews game two of the State Of Origin Series and expects Queensland to hit back.

Jonathan Thurston: Can lead Queensland to victory
Jonathan Thurston: Can lead Queensland to victory

Queensland can beat New South Wales in Brisbane on Wednesday and level the State Of Origin Series.

The Blues were deserving winners of the first game but this is a very different test. The slippy surface last time didn't suit some of the Queensland players while several of their key men went into that game in indifferent club form.

That's all changed. Billy Slater, Cameron Smith and Jonathan Thurston have been in outstanding form in recent rounds and all three have key roles to play.

New South Wales are without full-back Jarryd Hayne and prop James Tamou and they will be missed and I think the hosts can take advantage in what will be a high-scoring game.

Thurston is the key man and I'd expect him to be man of the match. He went into the last game with a groin problem and his wife was expecting a baby, but this time he has had a more straightforward preparation. He favours going left with his big attacking plays which makes Greg Inglis a good bet to be first try scorer.

I also expect the Maroons to cover the handicap of four points. They have the best halves in Thurston and Cooper Cronk and plenty of strike in the attacking positions. New South Wales know they are just one win away from ending Queensland's incredible domination of the Origin Series. But they'll have to wait for Game Three...

  • Preview posted at 1130 BST on 24/06/2013.