POWER GAME: NSW legend Michael Ennis says Blues forward Andrew Fifita must use his skill and size to give his side the advantage tonight.
POWER GAME: NSW legend Michael Ennis says Blues forward Andrew Fifita must use his skill and size to give his side the advantage tonight. DAN PELED

Ennis: Big boys have to stand up for Blues

EVERYONE knows just how dominant Queensland has been over the past 10 years in State of Origin but I really think this is New South Wales' time to shine.

I think it's a case of looking at who's not there for the Maroons rather than who is and there is an obvious chink of light for the Blues.

With the forward pack NSW has picked - the likes of Andrew Fifita, Boyd Cordner, Josh Jackson, David Klemmer and Tyson Frizell - I just think that we have started to make some real inroads over the top of the Queensland forward pack through the middle third.

In the past, once we have got that momentum with our big guys we just haven't capitalised. Whether that's decision-making in the halves or whether it's just trying to find points out wide, Queensland has just had that ability to be able to stay in its systems and defensively be able to weather the storm from the NSW forward pack.

But I have just got a feeling that this time with no Corey Parker and no Matt Scott in the middle, I just think that there are some vulnerabilities there.

A real strike weapon for Queensland for a long time now has been Greg Inglis and he won't be there.

Then the great Johnathan Thurston, the master in those critical moments when the game's in the balance and Queensland needs to find points, is not there either.

So there are four really key players that are out and along with the omission of Billy Slater, I just think it's a great opportunity for NSW to really capitalise and put its foot down in this first game.

You'd be brave to come out and make any bold statements about this being the end of Queensland's run due to the fact it has still got Cameron Smith and Cooper Cronk there, who have been amazing over that 10-year period for the Maroons.

They have got a knack of no matter what sort of form guys have been in that are around them coming into Origin, they tend to get the best out of their teammates.

That's a real strength of theirs.

It is important that NSW is ready to meet that head on and it starts with its forward pack.

Its big men have got to do a real job.

The size of Fifita and the skill that he brings; Aaron Woods is well accustomed at this level now and really needs a big performance for NSW - they really need to dominate this Queensland side with no Scott and no Parker and if they can do that the sky's the limit for NSW.

If these big guys can really muscle up and overpower Queensland then it will allow James Maloney and Mitchell Pearce just to play fast over the advantage line and it will allow our strike weapons to really see some football and hopefully cause some havoc.

News Corp Australia


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