NRL Round 17 and State of Origin 2: Do or die





It’s obvious that it’s do or die for NSW in both State of Origin series this week. Their men must win to keep the series alive; the women must win by 9 points or more to clinch their series. The maths is hardly complicated. You could say that a few NRL teams are in a similar situation as we head into Round 17 this weekend.


Let’s look at each game a little more closely:


Men’s State of Origin


Queensland hasn’t won Game 2 of an Origin series for about 5 years but they won’t get too many better opportunities than tonight. Home town crowd, a possible series win on offer, NSW in the middle of one of their self-flaggelations, momentum from Game 1 and favouritism with the bookies, and a more settled team.


Sounds like the perfect recipe for an upset!


I’m never an optimist when it comes to Origin. The margin between winning and losing is always so fine. It’s a game of the so-called ‘one percenters’. Expect a terrific tussle before, I think, the Maroons finish with their noses in front.


Women’s State of Origin

This should be a belter! NSW will know that Queensland has points in them; the Blues simply have to find nine more. So they’ll be looking to play expansively which adds to the potential for errors and gifting the opposition possession. With the likes of Aiken, Upton and Brigginshaw hovering, it’s death or glory. (‘Bazball’ for rugby league?)


The Maroons will want to play close and tight although we did see them perform stronger and faster than expected out wide in Game 1. Three scenarios: Queensland wins the game and the trophy; NSW wins but by less than 9 points, so Queensland wins the trophy; NSW wins by 9 or more and retains the trophy. I’ll take either of the first two.


NRL Round 17


The ‘at war with themselves’ Dragons start Round 17 tomorrow night against the Warriors who have shown more spirit of late. It’s hard to see the home side winning this one after a week from hell. The Warriors for me.


On Saturday the Dolphins host the Eels. The former have hit the wall in recent times – the grind of the season, injuries and (far too many) suspensions have combined to cruel their run. By contrast, the Eels have found their 2022 mojo and look hungry. The Eels comfortably.


Penrith will be aggrieved by their loss last weekend so I fear that the Knights are in for a tough gig this weekend. Fast and furious from the start, I’d say, with every chance of a blowout. Penrith by a mile.


The later game sees the Storm taking on the Sea Eagles in Melbourne. The hosts have shown considerable grit in recent times; the same can’t be said for the visitors. Forget any hype about a history of grudge matches. Manly need the points to stay in touch; Melbourne want to be safe in the top half. I think the hosts will have enough firepower to win.


Sunday afternoon sees a triple header starting with the Broncos taking on the Titans in Brisbane. The Gold Coast always play up a level in this derby but Brisbane has too much strike power and should win.


Then the reinforced Rabbitohs meet the rejuvenated Cowboys in the match of the round. Don’t be surprised if this is a high-scoring entertainer. I have an uncomfortable feeling that the Cowboys might pull off an upset but I’ve been keen on the Bunnies all year so I’ll stick with them.


Finally, the rattled Roosters take on the unreliable Raiders in the coin toss of the round. I’m still waiting for the Roosters to click – I’m a patient man. But will I have to wait until 2024? Canberra is frustrating – their best is very good but they’re erratic. I don’t know why but I’ll go with the Chooks.


The Bulldogs, Sharks and Wests Tigers have the bye.


So my NRL winners this week are the Warriors, Eels, Panthers, Storm, Broncos, Rabbitohs and Roosters.


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About Ian Hauser

A relaxed, Noosa-based retiree with a (very) modest sporting CV. A loyal Queenslander, especially when it comes to cricket and rugby league. Enjoys travel, coffee and cake, reading, and has been known to appreciate a glass or three of wine. One of Footy Almanac's online editors who enjoys the occasional editing opportunity to assist aspiring writers.


  1. Ian Hauser says

    How sweet it is! I experienced the Origin match at a raucous Belushi’s bar near the Borough Market. Packed to the rafters and about 60/40 in favour of the Maroons. Every table was booked and the rest of us stood or sat on the floor.

    My take: a) forwards win matches – Collins, Tino, Carrigan, Cotter; b) defence wins matches – a Maroon wall and a desperate chase by captain DCE setting the example; c) a very good team beats a collection of very good players.

    Yes, some early luck for Queensland but NSW had the time, the possession (penalties 8-2 in Blues’s favour) and the field position if they were good enough. They weren’t. Listen for the fury of the backlash. Watch for mass changes.

    ‘Something happens when they put on that jersey’.


  2. Jarrod_L says

    That was a lot of fun, IJH!

    The defending was out of this world – I saw at one stage in the second half NSW had about 27 more play the balls within opposition 20m, but you wouldn’t have known it with the scoreboard!

    Tino making Haas look small was another highlight.

    As for the last 30 seconds of Addo-Carr, Walsh and Luai giving themselves an early mark, it was all a bit silly (particularly Joshy deciding to have a swing at blokes after doing not a lot – besides collide with Cook – for about 70 minutes), but must admit I did crack a smile at Walsh playing it up for the crowd.

    Bring on the women for the double I say; Queenslander!

  3. Russel Hansen says

    another great week to be a Queenslander, IJH!

    the Tanunda Club was not crowded on Wednesday evening, however JTH & myself enjoyed: on the table next to us, meeting another Queenslander, born in Warwick, his wife was from Murgon, and a few other punters; we also enjoyed a few glasses of red, another great TC meal, and then: A THUMPING QUEENSLAND WIN !!

    Souths v Cowboys: I would not be surprised if the Cowboys run through us this afternoon, given the lack of defence in the last month …

    Glory Glory

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