NRL Podcast: Munster the key to beating NSW
Ahead of the 2018 Holden State of Origin series opener, Cameron Munster was identified as the Queensland Maroons' danger man. The player who could break not only the Blues' defensive line – but their spirits too.
There were good reasons why Munster was widely tipped to be the man to help continue Queensland's dominance. He made one of the best debuts in Origin history in Origin III last season, but in game one this year he failed to live up to the hype.
Former New South Wales five-eighth Jamie Soward knows how Queensland can get the best out of Munster who will again partner Bent Hunt in the halves in Origin II at ANZ Stadium on Sunday night.
"Ben Hunt might have just been controlling too much (in Origin one)," Soward said.
"[Munster] plays on the left-hand side for Melbourne. I wonder whether Ben Hunt [is] not inviting him to come across [to the right].
"When [Gareth] Widdop and Hunt play together (for the St George Illawarra Dragons), Widdop tends to roam around and Hunt uses him on both sides, whereas in Origin, Munster tends to lock himself on the left-hand side."
Soward says the Maroons should give Munster the license to roam.
"If I'm Kevvie Walters I'm saying, 'look Cam, you're our best broken-play runner. You can create something out of nothing. We need you to get your hands on the ball more'," Soward said.
"His strongest asset is his running game.
"Look for Munster to go looking for the ball a little bit more (in Origin two)."
Soward also identified the Blues player who must excel in Origin two if NSW are to win their second series in 13 years.
While previewing the remaining representative fixtures on the NRL Podcast, Soward made a few bold predictions regarding the international game, including his surprise tip for the 2021 Rugby League World Cup.