Lone Scout: The 'real' Origin teams

Okay guys, the Origin teams are picked, you are making your trades (or not) after last week’s advice, and you are focused on this very difficult time ahead. <br><br>But what would the Origin teams look like if it were a ‘Dream Team’ Origin series? Let’s face it, Brett Kimmorley wouldn't be getting a run at halfback with his 30-points scores and Greg Inglis would be well and truly fighting for his Queensland jersey – although his timely 44 points this week would certainly help with selectors. The side can't just be picked on form, because as we all know, sometimes players lift for the big games, so some loyalty amongst selectors would exist. But you also can't ignore the big consistent scorers... <br><br>In this case, I am taking it upon myself to be the selection panel for both New South Wales and Queensland (<a href="http://www.facebook.com/nrllonescout" target="_blank">but I implore you all to get onto Facebook and debate these decisions</a>). Who are my controversial omissions? Who have I picked that doesn't deserve the run? Which stars have I bypassed due to their form, who you think would post a big number in Origin? Fire up people! <br><br>I will only pick players in their Dream Team positions (Ben Lowe would obviously never make the centres of a real Origin side but here, thanks to Dream Team rules he can)… BUT I will implement the rules of only one reserve per position, with currently injured NRL stars ineligible.<br><b><br>Let’s start with the Maroons: </b><br><br><b>1. Billy Slater (Storm): </b>Slater gets the nod just ahead of Darius Boyd despite Boyd averaging slightly higher this season. Billy lifts in the big games and can score three tries in practically three seconds, while Darius doesn't score many tries at all. <br><b><br>2. Israel Folau (Broncos): </b>His 25.62 points average has him earning a spot as one of the better Queenslanders, but his try-scoring potential would probably get him in regardless. <br><br><b>3. Ben Lowe (Rabbitohs): </b>A must-have for the Maroons. Lowe has been a Dream Team jackpot in the centres this season, averaging 43 points a round. This gains him the highest average in the entire NRL for centres/wingers. <br><br><b>4. Greg Inglis (Storm): </b>Literally saved by his 44 points haul on the weekend. Inglis was facing the Dream Team Origin axe until he reminded us of the scores he should be posting. Pushes Willie Tonga onto the wing and beats out Brent Tate, Ashley Graham, Darius Boyd and Nick Emmett, who all average more than his 19.56.<br><br><b>5. Willie Tonga (Cowboys):</b> Earns his spot on averages, with a 24.50 this season. Not to mention the fact he is a proven line-breaker and try scorer. <br><b><br>6. Cooper Cronk (Storm): </b>The third best half in the Dream Team competition on averages (46.62), so it's a no-brainer to get him in the side. Yes that's right: no Thurston in the starting side... but hold the abuse – he gets a run on the bench. Cronk is gutsy and can score tries as easily as he sets them up.<br><br><b>7. Scott Prince (Titans): </b>The “prince” of Dream Team halves this season with a 48.33 points average. A try-assist king with a big kicking game, Prince is the logical choice for the Maroons, although the form in his past two starts, a 36 and 39, has this selector a little concerned. <br><br><b>8. Sam Thaiday (Broncos):</b> With 40.4 points a game ‘Slammin’ Sam’ goes into prop for the Maroons, especially with Ben Hannant out injured. Thaiday is tackling his butt off these days and has a top score off 55 points this season. <br><br><b>9. Cameron Smith (Storm) (Captain): </b>A 53.88 average says it all – he is close to being the game’s best player. A tackling machine, goal-kicker, and out-and-out schemer, Smith picks himself. Posted a 73 against the Warriors this year!<br><br><b>10. Nate Myles (Roosters): </b>A consistent Dream Team player bringing in 40.1 points a game in 2010. Tackles and metres are this guy’s bread and butter, making him a must-have. <br><br><b>11. Corey Parker (Broncos) (Vice-captain): </b>This guy has been dead set awesome this season on the way to a 59.20 points average. Posted a 72 earlier in the year and has hit 60 in his past two games. Can’t be overlooked.<br><br><b>12. Scott Bolton (Cowboys): </b>Consistently in the 40s, with the odd 50s score, Bolton bolts into the side. Has a great ability to score tries on the edges, which helps when added to his high work rate.<br><br><b>13. David Stagg (Bulldogs):</b> Another Dream Team regular, Stagg is pumping out an average 54 points this season. The ultimate professional, Stagg is made for this game. Has a 69 this year, a 60… and two 59s.<br>&nbsp;<br><b>14. Nathan Friend (Titans):</b> Edges out Matt Ballin and Andrew McCullough as the back-up hooker with 45.8 average. Friend, who tackles himself to a standstill every week, has posted a 63 this year.<br><b><br>15. Johnathan Thurston (Cowboys): </b>Will be filthy he isn't “starting” – but his dodgy shoulders have killed a few Dream Team coaches this season. His average for the year is down at 34.5, but this is due to a 9- and 4-points round when hurt. If you take those out of the equation Thurston averages 43.8, and with a 60 points haul in one game this year you just have to have him. He beats out Ashley Harrison, who has a higher average. <br><br><b>16. Petero Civoniceva (Panthers): </b>How could you leave out the Maroons stalwart? Still averaging over 34 points a game, the seemingly ageless Civoniceva would most definitely lift his output in Origin and gets the bench spot from the props position.<br><br><b>17. Micheal Luck (Warriors): </b>Takes the second row bench spot for the Maroons thanks to a healthy 42.86 points average and the knowledge he is always reliable. Has a 55 this year and could go higher in a big game, thanks to his tackling motor.<br><br><b>And now for New South Wales:<br><br>1. Kurt Gidley (Knights): </b>The real New South Wales skipper retains his spot in the Dream Team Origin side despite heavy pressure from Todd Carney and Jarryd Hayne. Gidley is averaging 33.6 points so far since returning from his knee injury Carney (avg 33.5) and Hayne (avg 30.78). Constantly getting his hands on the ball, you know what to expect each week from this class act.<br><br><b>2. Jarryd Hayne (Eels): </b>Averages more than 30 points a game and could have an explosion score at any minute. Finding form with 40 and 47 in his past two outings, and is capable of even higher. Could be the Blues’ Dream Team X-Factor.<br><br><b>3. Ben Smith (Eels):</b> Second only to Ben Lowe on averages in this position, Parramatta's Ben Smith is a great get for the Blues. His 38 points average this season has been very tidy for the coaches who selected him out wide. Nothing too flashy – just an honest defensive option.<br><b><br>4. Matt Cooper (Dragons):</b> The Dragons centre and his 32 points average deserves a spot in the side purely for the form he is in. Plus, his deadly combination with Brett Morris makes him a better selection then the slightly higher averaging Luke Lewis.<br><br><b>5. Brett Morris (Dragons): </b>Put simply, Morris makes the side for the tries he scores – and I’m gambling on him based purely on potential. Behind Luke Lewis, Beau Scott and Mitch Aubusson on averages, Morris still gets the nod as he could post three tries in any game, two of which could be 100-metre jobs. While Lewis, Scott (injured) and Aubusson might be consistent scorers, Morris could post a 40-plus with ease. A controversial selection, I'm sure!<br>&nbsp;<br><b>6. Terry Campese (Raiders): </b>With an average 48.22 points this season and a proven Dream Team star, Campese waltzes into the Blues side. Has had a 68 and a 70 this season; that alone would get him in. <br><br><b>7. Jamie Soward (Dragons): </b>Finally, a rep jersey!<b> </b>Last season’s Dream Team MVP has had some very quiet weeks in 2010, but he still averages 43.10 points and has a huge score in him. Just last weekend he ensured selection with a 61 points haul. But truth be known... if he posted a 20-something – or even an 18 like earlier this year – he wouldn’t be backing up for game Two. The time has come to test Jamie at the highest level.<br><br><b>8. Dan Hunt (Dragons): </b>The kid from Wollongong way was once told he'd never make it... Well this big bopper has charged his way into the Blues Dream Team with an impressive 41.2 points average this season. Has posted two 51s this year.<br><b><br>9. Robbie Farah (Wests Tigers) (Captain): </b>While Farah can't get the edge over Michael Ennis for a real Origin jersey, he wins this one hands down. His average of 49.22 is awesome and he has three scores in the 60s this season. He scored 41 in a 50-10 loss the other day!<br><br><b>10. Luke Douglas (Sharks): </b>A 54 points haul last weekend has catapulted Douglas into the side over the likes of Luke Bailey and Kade Snowden, and also the injured and therefore unavailable Aiden Tolman who would have been first prop picked. With Douglas, Bailey and Snowden averaging close to the same, Douglas' huge number showed what he can pull in the crunch. The lingering memory of his ’09 scores is also working in his favour.<br><br><b>11. Nathan Hindmarsh (Eels) (Vice-captain):</b> His lowest score this season was a 41. He averages 52.67 and has gone 74, 64 and 61 in his past three games, making ‘Hindy’ the number one back-rower for NSW. <br><br><b>12. Anthony Laffanchi (Titans):</b> His 42.56 season average isn't bad by any means – but Laffranchi only gets a run after Shaun Fensom and Liam Fulton fell to injury. At least you know he'll make his tackles and can find the try line on occasion. Has big game experience. <br><br><b>13. Paul Gallen (Sharks): </b>Might have controversially missed the real Origin team but makes this one hands down with his 47.78 average and high score of 65. Also, his past two scores have been in the 50s. <br><br><b>14. Mitchell Aubusson (Roosters): </b>Another centre-cum-forward, Aubusson boosts the points tally of the Blues significantly. His 34.9 points a match is great stuff and earns him a place on the bench from the centre/winger category.<br><br><b>15. Trent Hodkinson (Sea Eagles): </b>First City Origin, now Dream Team Origin! The Sea Eagles’ halfback has been a real Dream Team find this season. With 44.78 points a week Hodkinson is a great option for the bench from the halves category. He has a high score of 60 this season.<br><br><b>16. Luke Bailey (Titans): </b>The old-stager might have retired from real Origin footy but no such luck here Bull! With a 40 points average and the ability to post higher, he makes the bench from the front row section.<br><br><b>17. Chris Heighington (Wests Tigers):</b> Another back-rower to come in after injury cruelled others, Heighington is still very valuable with a 42.56 average score. Has twice recently cracked the 50s. <br><br>So there you have it folks... some names from out of the blue, while others were certainly expected. How do these teams fare against the real Origin teams? <br><br>Better still, which of the teams would win? Courtesy of some stat analysis by Facebook fan Adam Stanic - it's the Blues this time around. Overall averages has them winning 738 - 729, and if you really are only as good as your last game, then the Blues have it again 796 - 792.<br><br>Also a shout out to Matthew Molony who suggested this topic - <a href="http://www.facebook.com/nrllonescout" target="_blank">now let’s start the debate on my Facebook page!<br></a>