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State of Origin: Form players return to boost Blues

New South Wales know it’s do or die for their State of Origin clash with Queensland in Melbourne on Wednesday after their defeat in Sydney in Game One.

The iconic Melbourne Cricket Ground is set to play host to the biggest rivalry in rugby league, as the Blues look to bounce back from their 38-10 defeat to the Maroons at Accor Stadium.

It’s hard to read too much into that game with the contest being shaped by Joseph-Aukuso Sua'ali'i’s high shot on Queensland fullback Reece Walsh just seven minutes into the match.

A night to forget for the Origin debutant with his red card but his Blues side have a chance to level up the series when they face off against the Maroons on neutral Victorian territory on Wednesday.

. What: New South Wales v Queensland
. Where: Melbourne Cricket Ground, Melbourne
. When: 20:05 (AEST), Wednesday 26th June 2024
. How to watch: Kayo, Foxtel, Channel 7
. Odds: New South Wales 1.85, Queensland 1.97

Blues can get excited over reinforcements

Blues coach Michael Maguire has made five changes for the must-win at the MCG this week.

Mitchell Moses replaces halfback Nicho Hynes, while fullback Dylan Edwards finally gets his chance to impress on the big stage in what will be his Origin debut.

The in-form points machine Latrell Mitchell replaces the suspended Sua'ali'i in the centres, while it’s one Cameron for another as Cameron Murray has been named in place of Cameron McInnes in the second-row.

A sending-off for Sua'ali'i changed the whole complexion of that opening game in Sydney and threw Maguire’s Plan A out of the window early doors.

Discipline will have been the key focus for the Blues going into this match and they are the 1.85 to claim the win to take the series to year to a decider in Game Three.

Maroons out to finish the job

After that convincing win in Game One, it’s hardly a surprise that head coach Billy Slater has named a settled squad for this second clash in Melbourne.

Slater makes just two changes from the team that won on the road in Sydney.

Kurt Capewell replaces Selwyn Cobbo among the subs, while Felise Kaufusi has been promoted to the bench after he was named as the 18th man during the series opener. J'maine Hopgood drops out of the squad along with Cobbo.

The Blues came out on top 22-12 the last time the teams played at the MCG in 2019 and the Maroons will be looking for revenge this time around.

Queensland are 1.97 to claim the win on Wednesday night, while the Line market has the Maroons at 1.87 with +1.5 points, in what is expected to be a much tighter contest than the one-sided Sydney opener.

Looking to the Anytime Tryscorer market, Brian To’o and Zac Lomax are joint-favourites at 2.30 to touchdown for the Blues, while for the Maroons it’s Xavier Coates who is fancied at 2.40 to go over for Queensland.

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