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Big League: NRL State of OriginBig League: NRL State of Origin

Big League: NRL State of Origin 2019 - State of Origin I

The battle between New South Wales and Queensland continues this year with the Maroons vying for an unprecedented seventh-straight series win. To feel a part of the action make sure you have the official match program with team-lists, player profiles, exclusive Q&As and flashbacks with past Origin greats.

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nrl state of origin

Editor: Maria Tsialis Subeditor: David Piepers Staff Writers: Michael Blok, Martin Gabor Contributors: Neil Cadigan, Michael Ennis, Will Evans, David Middleton Art Director: Craig Loughlin-Smith Designer: Lesley Jhoty Marketing and Circulation Executive: Nick Tsolakis General Manager Retail and Circulation: Brett Willis Production Director: Mark Moes Production Manager: Chrissy Fragkakis Email: bigleague@newslifemedia.com.au Back issues: Digital versions at Zinio: zinio.com/bigleague Facebook: facebook.com/bigleague Twitter/Instagram: @bigleaguemag…

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all of queensland unites as one

WELCOME to the greatest rivalry in Australian sport – the Holden State of Origin series. Game One at Suncorp Stadium will once again showcase the courage, emotion and incredible skill levels that are synonymous with State of Origin. Origin truly is a unique event unlike any other sport; a contest of the highest standard and supported like few others across the nation. We stand behind coach Kevin Walters, his support staff and the 17 players who will take the field tonight. There are no certainties in rugby league at this elite level, but we do know this team will deliver a performance that makes us proud. The entire state has been buzzing with anticipation ahead of the opening game of the series. Last week, our players travelled to the outback town of Charleville, 700km west…

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new generation of blues will make their mark

THE Holden State of Origin series of 2019 will kick off at Suncorp Stadium tonight and the Brydens Lawyers NSW Blues can’t wait for the opportunity to defend the shield. It was extremely satisfying last year to see our new coach Brad Fittler usher in a new generation of players and his faith was rewarded after they won the first two games to deliver NSW fans their first Origin series win since 2014. Fittler, captain Boyd Cordner, the players and the support staff know the job at hand will be even tougher this season with the opening game of the series at Queensland’s spiritual home, before we head to Perth’s Optus Stadium as part of the game’s exciting push to take Origin to new frontiers. It is great to see that Fittler has…

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kalyn ponga

THERE aren’t many superlatives that haven’t already been used when talking about this young man. Freak. Gun. Excitement machine. The 21-year-old Knights fullback started the year for his club at five-eighth but has since switched back to his favoured position and results have followed. So far in 2019 he’s amassed six try assists, six line-break assists, 10 line-breaks and 51 tackle-breaks. They are incredible numbers and he has quickly become a poster boy for all that is good about rugby league. Clearly, it’s been difficult for opposition defences to handle him and – as we saw last week against the Roosters – give him an inch and he’ll take a mile. He’s only played one Origin game so far in his short career – off the bench in Game Two,…

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james tedesco

THE ever-reliable fullback had a blinder of a season in 2018 and has returned bigger and better in 2019. He’s had a couple of years as the State’s no.1 fullback, and he made the position his own in last year’s series, scoring three tries, two try assists, three line-break assists and three line-breaks. For the Roosters this season, he’s made a whopping 13 line-breaks, four line-break assists and assisted in four tries. The numbers are always staggering, but the most telling thing about Tedesco is the confidence he’s playing with. Up against Kalyn Ponga on the opposite side of the park, the ultimate competitor will want to get one over his young challenger, particularly after the result in the Knights v Roosters game two weekends ago. Scarily, Tedesco is even…

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road to recovery

AFTER being ruled out with a severe neck injury last season, Matt Gillett was unsure if he’d ever return to the State of Origin arena. Just over a year ago, the Queensland veteran received the news that rocked his world. Scans revealed two hairline fractures in his neck, ending his 2018 season after just four games in a setback that ruled him out of the entire Origin series. Unsure of his future, those were dark days for the Brisbane workhorse as he contemplated how close he had come to potential paralysis and the possibility of not being able to provide for his family. Gillett was rubbed out of the game for almost an entire year, but even through his struggles, he used the prospect of returning to State of Origin as motivation…