New South Wales’ greatest ever halfback and Blues assistant Andrew Johns believes the old Sydney Roosters combination of Mitchell Pearce and James Maloney could be the difference tonight in the Origin decider at ANZ Stadium.
“What has struck me this week at training is how much Mitchell and five-eighth James Maloney still have such a strong understanding of how each other play,” Johns wrote for The Sydney Morning Herald.
“They won a competition together at the Roosters in 2013 and the strong bond formed between them back then is evident on the training paddock now. Both have dominant voices. Both know what the other will do.”
The Maroons will be without Kalyn Ponga with Cameron Munster shifted from the halves to fullback which Johns says will hurt QLD.
“Queensland aren’t stronger with Cameron Munster at fullback. You can never replace someone with the skill and unpredictability of Kalyn Ponga, who has been ruled out with injury.”