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Maroons to force a decider: Voss

Why Andrew Voss wants a Queensland win in Origin II, what's happened to the Dragons, the rise of Angus Crichton, Friday's 'battle of the battered' and more.

Can we have a decider… please?

Sorry Laurie and the Blues players and fans, but how good would it be if in three weeks' time the State Of Origin series is still alive heading off to Suncorp Stadium?

Thurston's last Origin… more than likely Cronk's farewell. 

Come on, isn't that the stage NSW would want to put an end to Queensland's dominance?

Obviously I'm just trying to play neutral observer, and I am rugby league fan first and foremost.

So allow me a tip with the heart for tonight. The Maroons to win an epic in golden point, and we get the Hollywood blockbuster ending to decide the 2017 champion.

How about a few more tips?

I'm feeling all warm and fuzzy this week. How about the great Billy Slater stamps his return to the Origin stage with the opening four-pointer of the night?

And if Queensland is to win, you can be sure Cameron Smith will turn in a quality 80 minutes in his 41st Origin appearance.

Savour the old firm… Slater, Thurston, Cronk and Smith all together. A glorious era is coming to an end.


Who wins the 'battle of the battered' on Friday night?

It's my job to call things as I see them, so what other tag do you suggest I put on the game at Campbelltown between the Tigers and the Titans?

Both sets of fans are clinging to the thread of mathematically their side can still qualify for the finals, but right now they'll just settle for a win.

We are talking about a clash here between one side that impressed everyone last season by making the top eight, and the other missing the playoffs by a point.

As we enter round 16, there have only been seven wins between them all season. If you combined their competition points they would still be eight off the pace set by Melbourne. The Titans have lost their last four and the Tigers their last six.

Has there been a clash of two more desperate sides this year? They owe it to their fans to turn on a good one.

What's happened to the Dragons?

Let's call it a mid-season slump, but certainly not a fatal one at this stage.

Unlike teams such as the Raiders, Bulldogs and Titans, who all made the finals last year, the Dragons have at least put some decent points in the bank.

As a matter of fact, if 28 competition points proves to be the finals cut off, then Paul McGregor's side would only need to win four of their last 10 games.

I'm prepared to cut them some slack, but perhaps only until Sunday. They simply have to beat the Knights and show the positive attacking form again from earlier in the season.

It looked the real deal to me then.  Over to you Dragons!


Who isn't on the Angus Crichton bandwagon?

Wow, how impressive is this bloke, and how improved is he on his eight appearances from his rookie season?

Crichton last year started one game and came off the bench in seven others, averaging 34 minutes an appearance.

For the past five weeks for the Rabbitohs he has played 80 minutes every game, averaging 35 tackles and 147 running metres. And based on his amazing performance against the Gold Coast, he's getting even better.

The highest praise I can give the NRL rookie from Young, is he reminds me of Canberra champion backrower Bradley Clyde.


Can you believe who has just left the NRL?

Good luck to Warrington, but I am staggered a home wasn't found for a player of the class and quality of Peta Hiku in the NRL.

Hiku is only 24; had played over 80 first-grade games, and nine Tests for New Zealand. His best years are still ahead of him.

Then again I feel disappointed almost every week to see former Titans star David Mead without a start at Brisbane. The PNG captain has gone from one of the first players picked over his eight-year, 147-game career on the Gold Coast, to a fringe player at the Broncos.

Based on these two players alone there is a case for expansion of the NRL.

Enjoy Origin night folks, and then back up for a cracking round 16 in the NRL.

Twitter: @AndrewVossy


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