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New South Wales Blues vs Queensland Maroons Game 1 Tips - Maroons expected to edge out Blues in State of Origin opener

Last updated: 05 Jun 2024
Ryan Tucker 05 Jun 2024
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  • New South Wales Blues vs Queensland Maroons predictions for Wednesday’s State of Origin game
  • Only 2 of the past 13 Game 1’s has gone over 36 points
  • NSW Blues start a new era with a new coach and several team changes.
  • Queensland Maroons have a stable team with fewer changes, giving them an edge.
  • Key players: Nicho Hynes and Brian To’o for NSW, Val Holmes and Reece Walsh for Queensland.
Valentine Holmes of the Maroons (Photo by Brendon Thorne/Getty Images)

New South Wales Blues vs Queensland Maroons State of Origin Game 1 Tips

A new Origin era is here, at least for the Blues. A new coach and a new look team will be ushered in next Wednesday night as New South Wales take on Queensland in the 43rd State of Origin series. 
  • New South Wales Blues vs Queensland Maroons State of Origin Game 1 Tips
  • Head to Head 
  • New South Wales Blues Form
  • New South Wales BluesTeam News
  • New South Wales BluesTeam List
  • Queensland Maroons Form
  • Queensland Maroons Team News
  • Queensland Maroons Team List
  • State of Origin 2024 FAQ's

Check out our State of Origin Series Preview, Man of the Match & Series Tips as well as Tryscoring Predictions for Game 1.

NSW have been forced into a number of changes to their team due to injury and with new coach Michael Maguire at the helm wasted no time in continuing the clean out with a number of healthy incumbents not being named for Game 1. It is a bold strategy but something that many experts believe was necessary to start to build for the future after many years of chasing the Queenslanders. 

James Tedesco was originally not named in the 20 man squad but with the injury to new fullback Dylan Edwards the former captain has been recalled to the team and will start in the number 1 jersey on Wednesday.

Even with Tedesco back in the team, it is our opinion the other changes will instead bring about a level of instability which is difficult to overcome in an Origin situation. Even though a number of players have played together previously as part of the Panthers dynasty they will need to not only get reacquainted with each other, but work to put the new coach’s game plan into action. 

The Maroons on the other hand have a stable team with very few changes. Their forward pack is lacking a bit of size due to injuries to first choice props but their replacements have been in the Origin squads for a number of years and will be ready to step up to take their place when the whistle blows.

Game 1’s and Origin in general are close encounters. Queensland will use the dynamic running of their backline when attacking the Blues redzone and will be successful against the Blues outside defence that haven’t quite figured out their combinations. Maroons to cover the short line.

  • Since 2011, the Game 1 total has gone Under 36.5 points in 11 of 13 matches. 
  • Over the past 10 years only 6 of the last 30 games have been decided by 2 points or less
  • Brian To’o is third in the NRL in average Run Metres at 203m per game
  • Val Holmes has scored 12 tries in his last 16 games for Queensland.
  • Zac Lomax has scored 7 tries in 11 games this season. 

Head to Head 

The 2023 series was won 2-1 by Queensland clinching games 1 & 2 in a dominant fashion. NSW went on to win Game 3 in Sydney to avoid a sweep.

Queensland lead the overall series head to head 24-16 with 2 series being drawn. Queensland also hold an advantage in overall games won 69-58 with 2 drawn games.

The Maroons have won the last 2 Game 1’s in a row as well as 4 of the last 5. This includes the most recent Game 1 in Sydney back in 2022.

Across all games played at Accor Stadium, NSW are 19-11 with 1 game being drawn.

New South Wales Blues Form

The Blues have picked an in form team despite the litany of injuries to their first choice players. There is an overwhelming amount of Panthers or ex-Panthers in this team which bodes well for chemistry and allows the team to work more on game plan than getting combinations to work. 

NSW were soundly beaten in the 2023 series but were able to get a win in the Game 3 dead-rubber which allows them to bring momentum into Game 1 of this year’s series.

New South Wales BluesTeam News

Major changes for the Blues with former captain James Tedesco getting the flick for Dylan Edwards who has been staking his claim for an Origin jersey for the past few years. He is joined in the team by fellow Panthers regulars in Brian To’o, Liam Martin and Isaah Yeo together with Jarome Luai who earns a reprieve with injuries to a host of NSW halves.

With Tom Trbojevic out injured and Latrell Mitchell and Josh Addo-Carr overlooked, Stephen Crichton, Joseph Suaalii and Zac Lomax make up the rest of the new look backline.

Nicho Hynes is the new halfback replacing the injured Nathan Cleary and Jake Trbojevic is the new captain and starting prop together with Payne Haas. 

Angus Crichton and Cam McInnes have played their way into the starting lineup at second row and lock with immense performances over the first half of the season for their respective clubs. Api Koroisau has been replaced at hooker by Recce Robson with 
McInnes expected to cover at hooker if needed. 

Haumole Olakau’atu and Spencer Leniu get their chance to don the sky blue off the bench after being part of the squad in recent years. They will be joined by Hudson Young who is in scintillating form for the Raiders. 

New South Wales BluesTeam List

1. James Tedesco
2. Brian To’o
3. Stephen Crichton
4. Joseph Suaalii
5. Zac Lomax
6. Jarome Luai
7. Nicho Hynes
8. Jake Trbojevic (c)
9. Reece Robson
10. Payne Haas
11. Liam Martin
12. Angus Crichton
13. Cameron McInnes

14. Isaah Yeo
15. Haumole Olakau’atu
16. Spencer Leniu
17. Hudson Young

18. Matt Burton 
20. Mitchell Barnett 

Queensland Maroons Form

The Maroons wrapped up the series in a dominant fashion last year winning games 1 and 2 with comparative ease. They dropped game 3 in Sydney but by then the damage was already done and the Shield stayed north of the border. 

In club land the majority of players are playing teams with positive win records but it is the Cowboys players that bring some doubt as they sit 11th on the NRL ladder with a 6-6 record. 

Queensland Maroons Team News

The Maroons have been affected by injuries in their forwards with incumbents Tom Flegler and Tino Fa’asuamaleaui both out long term. This has opened the door for Reuben Cotter and Lindsay Collins to start as props with J’maine Hopgood, Mo Fotuaika and Pat Carrigan all tipped to get minutes in the middle rotations. 

Cam Munster is also out with Tom Dearden securing the five-eighth role. Murray Taulagi has beaten Selwyn Cobbo to a wing spot with the big Bronco instead named on the bench as a cover for the backs. 

Ben Hunt will start at hooker with Harry Grant to come off the interchange.

Felise Kaufusi is the 18th man with Brendan Piakura and Ezra Mam the players being blooded in the extended squad.

Queensland Maroons Team List

1. Reece Walsh
2. Xavier Coates
3. Valentine Holmes
4. Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow
5. Murray Taulagi
6. Tom Dearden
7. Daly Cherry-Evans (c)
8. Reuben Cotter
9. Ben Hunt
10. Lindsay Collins
11. Jaydn Su'A
12. Jeremiah Nanai
13. Patrick Carrigan

14. Harry Grant
15. Moeaki Fotuaika
16. J'maine Hopgood
17. Selwyn Cobbo

18. Felise Kaufusi
20. Ezra Mam

State of Origin 2024 FAQ's

How to watch NSW vs QLD State of Origin Game 1.

The best way to watch the 2024 Origin Series is via Channel 9 who broadcast the game live on free to air TV. If you have a Fox Sports or Kayo subscription you can stream the game on the go from their apps. If you are tuning in from outside of Australia the WatchNRL app is your go to option.

What time does NSW vs QLD State of Origin Game 1 start?

Game 1 of the 2024 State of Origin series kicks off at 8:05pm AEST on Wednesday 5th June 2024.


Despite the Maroons losing some power upfront and the Blues picking a team with in-form players it will be the stability and experience that will determine the winner in this one. The expectation is that the scores are once again kept low, as the generally are in Origin 1 with Queensland edging out NSW in a thriller.
Best Bet1: Queensland -1.5 Line @-111.11 at PlayUP - 2 Units
Best Bet2: Under 36.5 Game Total @-111.11 at Justbet - 2 Units
Best Bet3: Val Holmes Anytime Tryscorer @250.00 at Neds - 1 Unit
Best Bet4: Zac Lomax Anytime Tryscorer @165.00 at Neds - 1 Unit
Queensland -1.5
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