Rabbitohs players, Adam Reynolds and Greg Inglis, will line up on opposite sides of halfway in State of Origin Game I this Wednesday. We look at the burning questions facing both of them.
1. How will Reynolds take to Origin?
Ask former Rabbitoh and Origin legend, Matt King, and he’ll tell you that the interstate format could very well be Reynolds’ go, despite him having never played in the arena before. With a tactical kicking game that consistently serves to build pressure, coupled with a steel in defence that defies his small stature, the halfback could well take to the Origin arena like a duck to water.
“He just needs to believe that in his position, he is the best short-kicker in our game and that he is the best defensive halfback as well – and he is without a doubt,” said King.
“If he does those things, he can make that position his own for a very long time. Origin is all about pressure, and Adam can build that pressure with his kicking game.”
2. Will GIs rep form continue?
Greg Inglis is no stranger to the representative arena. With 35 Tests for Australia (2006-16), 27 State of Origin matches for Queensland (2006-15) and four games for the Indigenous All Stars (2012-13, 2015-16), GI is a seasoned campaigner who slots into any rep side with relative ease, irrespective of the position. Indeed in this year’s Representative Round, Inglis helped make short work of the Kiwis down the left edge in both attack and defence, playing in the centres. Expect the big man to provide much the same this Wednesday in what will be his 28th appearance for Queensland.
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3. How long before the Reynolds/Maloney combination clicks?
Without doubt, one of the keys to the success of New South Wales will be the halves partnership of Adam Reynolds and James Maloney. While the pair have never played together before, the cheeky duo have wasted no time in becoming better acquainted in camp and working on their combination.
“We’re rooming together along with Matty Moylan as well, so most of ‘the spine’ in one room always helps,” said Reynolds of the budding relationship.
4. Mate Against Mate. What happens when they meet?
Make no mistake about it, Reynolds and Inglis will meet on-field come Wednesday night. The question is; what happens when they do? When it comes to matters of state, club allegiances have mattered for little in the past – take former Parramatta teammates, Mick Cronin and Arthur Beetson in 1980 for instance. Beetson had no qualms whacking Cronin with a swinging arm. But while the game has moved on from those days, the fierce rivalry has remained just that – fierce.
5. Reynolds - Origin sharp-shooter?
All indications are that Reynolds will take up goal-kicking duties for New South Wales in Game I, despite the Blues boasting plenty of goal-kicking ability in their ranks. Reynolds has been in fine form with the boot in recent weeks, most notably by coolly slotting the winning touch-line conversion against Parramatta in Round 10 in the final minute of play.