Newspaper article The Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton, Australia)

It's the Maroons All the Way

Newspaper article The Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton, Australia)

It's the Maroons All the Way

Article excerpt

Byline: Jenna Johnstone Jenna.Johnstone@capnews.com.au

RUGBY LEAGUE: Rockhampton rugby league veterans say the sport will never again witness the quality of coach Mal Meninga's Maroons a and their era of dominance could stretch to a perfect 10.

For the past six years, New South Wales have played second fiddle to the mighty Maroons' attack and local personalities hope the winning streak will continue in tonight's game.

Joining the Maroons line-up again this year is locally grown Dave Taylor. Central Queenslanders are calling for the Maroons to alet the mighty coal train loosea.

Local fanatics urge the Queensland wrecking ball to ignore his critics and play his natural game in the Origin opener at Etihad Stadium tonight.

For the first Origin The Morning Bulletin has taken the scientific approach of discussing the outcome of the game with five totally unbiased Queensland supporters.

Each has looked at the match objectively and the surprising response is that they believe the Maroons will win the game convincingly.

Speaking on the eve of the Origin clash were former NRL star Justin Loomans, CQ Capras coach John Harbin, CQ Capras captain Tim Glasby, Yeppoon Seagulls A-grade coach Steve Stafford as well as local rugby league identity Baron Large. Here are their tips.

Justin

Loomans

The former South Sydney Rabbitohs winger, Justin Loomans, is tipping Queensland by 16 points.

aI think they have the better side,a he said.

aAll players have been playing great club football and have a point to prove without Darren Lockyer being there this year.a

Shocked by the NSW selection, Loomans is confident the Maroons will have the upper hand.

aThe only change for Queensland I would like to see is Ben Barba gaining a bench spot,a he said. aHe has been playing some great football of late.a

Loomans is confident Queensland will stand their ground and take home their seventh consecutive series win.

aI think it's a great set-up for Queensland this year,a he said.

aThe last home game is in Brissy which means even if we only win one out of the first two, we will still have the home team advantage in the decider.a

Steve

Stafford

For Yeppoon Seagulls coach Steve Stafford, all bets are on the mighty Maroons with the hope of them claiming a 10-12 point lead on the Blues.

aOur backline will be a real threat to New South Walesa he said.

aLocal prodigy Dave Taylor should help them out a fair bit.a

Agreeing with fellow rugby league identities, Harbin is not completely convinced the Cockroaches team selections will see a positive outcome.

aI just think they have to stick with the more experienced players,a he said. aThey tend to change the side around too much.

aThey need to build on their combinations, that's where they are going wrong. …

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