Origin Knockout: Round 2 (NSW)
The votes have been tallied, and the winners and losers have been decided from Round 1 of NRL.com's Origin Knockout poll, determining who is the fans' favourite State of Origin player of the century so far.
A total of 64 players who had represented their state since 2000 were pitted against each other in 32 match-ups in Round 1, with some cruising through the opening round and others squeezing through after tight battles.
Vote now on this week's match-ups for Round 2.
Andrew Johns v Craig Fitzgibbon
Three-time Dally M medallist Andrew Johns made light work of former Newcastle and New South Wales teammate Adam MacDougall in the first round, and now meets ex-Roosters goalkicking forward Craig Fitzgibbon. With a Clive Churchill Medal to his name, plus appearances in five straight NRL grand finals and wins in his first three State of Origin series, Fitzgibbon has a fantastic record himself – but can he beat 'Joey' in this one?
Robbie Farah v Danny Buderus
It's a battle of the star NSW hookers, with the man who captained the Blues in this year's Origin series opener up against the man who led the Blues more times than any other. Farah only just scraped through the first round with 52 per cent of the vote against Origin teammate Greg Bird, while Buderus was a convincing victor over Trent Barrett.
Paul Gallen v Steve Menzies
Two of the Blues' back-row greats go head-to-head, with the ever-popular try-scoring hero Menzies taking on inspirational leader Paul Gallen – the man who lifted the Origin trophy last year after eight straight series defeats for NSW. Gallen's Origin career began at the start of that losing streak in 2006 – the same year Menzies bowed out while winning the Brad Fittler Medal as the Blues' player of the series.
Anthony Minichiello v Matthew Gidley
The elder Gidley snuck past brother Kurt in a brutal first-up match-up, winning 52 per cent of the vote against the current Newcastle skipper's 48. He now takes on Minichiello – a regular presence during the Blues' dominance of Origin in the early 2000s with eight tries from 11 matches. Gidley was no slouch in attack either, with five Origin tries from his 11 games plus 11 tries in 17 Tests.
Brad Fittler v Craig Wing
Two of the Roosters' modern heroes, who combined in the halves in the Tricolours' Grand Final win in 2002. Wing was a weapon off the bench for the Blues in those days, while Fittler was the most capped NSW Origin player ever with 31 appearances for his state. Can Wing cause a shock upset against his former captain here?
Mark Gasnier v Ryan Girdler
After seeing off Dragons teammate and fellow centre Matt Cooper in the opening round, Gasnier comes up against another brilliant three-quarter in Ryan Girdler, who knocked out Michael Jennings in Round 1. Girdler holds the record for most points in a game for the Blues with 32; Gasnier was one of the most gifted centres of the modern game.
Jarryd Hayne v Brett Morris
Two of the heroes of last year's drought-ending series win for the Blues go head-to-head. Morris injured his shoulder scoring an early try but played on, eventually making a crucial try-saving (and possibly match-saving) tackle in the corner on Darius Boyd. Hayne was the Blues' inspiration in attack and ended up sharing the Brad Fittler Medal for NSW's player of the series with Ryan Hoffman. Who gets your vote?
Nathan Hindmarsh v Ben Kennedy
One of the game's most popular players, Hindmarsh has 23 Tests to his name plus a huge five Provan Summons medals as the fan's player of the year. He never won a premiership though, as Kennedy did with Newcastle in 2001 before going on to lead Manly in the mid 2000s. Both these back rowers played more than a dozen times for their state at Origin level, and they'll be tough to split.