Moneyball has posted a massive $31,000 tournament for the critical second game in the 2019 State of Origin series. I will be running through some of my favourite plays for Sundays’ game. I would also encourage people to check the final teams to ensure that the players you select are in fact starting. I know, for example, that it was reported NSW are toying with the idea of starting Dale Finnucane so be sure to check the teams an hour before kick off.
Both Damien Cook ($8,200) and Ben Hunt ($6,100) were exceptional in the first game of the series. I was sceptical of Ben Hunt’s ability to play the full game at hooker but this was not an issue as he registered a monster 53 tackles. Both Hunt and Cook are good plays yet again. Cook has the higher upside as NSW rely on his ability to run from dummy half to add a dimension to their offence but if you want to spend up elsewhere, Hunt is a great, cheaper option. I will most likely have exposure to both players in game 2.
Daniel Saifiti ($5,000) and Paul Vaughan ($5,300) are great, cheap options in the forwards. Vaughan ran for 101 metres in Origin 1 and got through 28 tackles. He will likely have to increase his workload to cater for the absence of Klemmer. Saifiti will be eager to prove that he belongs in this Blues team, although Saifiti is not always a great fantasy scorer, he plays exceptional footy when fired up and I expect the Origin stage to bring out the best of him. Felise Kaufusi ($6,300) scored 29.7 points in the first game of the series without accruing a; try, try assist, tackle break, line break or line break assist. Kaufusi plays on the same side of the field as Munster and Ponga (Ponga’s favoured left side anyway) and therefore will be getting plenty of good looks with the ball. The fact that he is able to post a decent score without attacking stats is just a bonus.
All of the 4 highest priced forwards are also good plays if you can fit them in. McGuire could well improve now that he has been back from injury for a few more weeks. Papalii scored 28.1 in game 1 of the series and could be more dominant now that the NSW front row is not at full strength. Trbojevic scored well in game 1 off the back of some attacking stats but that is exactly what he offers and could well feature in the attack again in game 2. Cordner was quiet by his standards in game 1 but is confirmed big playing time (given he is the captain) and will take it upon himself to keep the series alive.
Cam Murray and Wade Graham are my favourite bench players due to their ball playing ability but are at risk of not playing enough minutes.
As this is Origin, all of the options in the halves are valid. Cameron Munster ($7,600) is coming off a decent game 1 but could have easily posted a much larger score if Queensland executed a few more attacking opportunities in the first half. Daly Cherry-Evans ($7,000) managed to score 27.6 points in the first game of the series without getting a try or try assist. I expect him to improve given the fact that game 1 was his first game of footy in over a month. Nathan Cleary ($7,000) was underwhelming in attack last game however, his tackling and goal-kicking meant that he still managed a decent 26.1 fantasy points. Cleary has stated he wants to take more ownership of the Blues attack and will improve if this occurs. James Maloney ($6,600) is a very volatile fantasy point scorer. He seems to either have a huge game or score in the singe digits. Maloney will be keen to have a big game now that he is returning to the Origin arena and could very well register 40+ fantasy points at a cheap price.
I don’t feel the need to discuss why Ponga and Tedesco are both great plays in game 2. Instead, I will discuss some of the other options in the outside backs. Corey Oates ($7,300) is arguably the best winger in the game yet I expect him to be under owned in game 2 due to Dane Gagai’s heroic effort in game 1. I expect the majority of teams to lock in Tedesco and/or Ponga and therefore, not have much more room to fit other outside backs into their teams. Tom Trbojevic ($6,800) found form in round 14 of the NRL and $6,800 may well be the cheapest price he will be at for the rest of the season. Trbojevic played on the wing in the 2018 Origin series but has been named at centre for this game. I expect him to be more involved in attack as a result ad should return value today. Jack Wighton ($5,300) and Michael Morgan ($5,300) are both good cheaper options if you have decided to spend up elsewhere.