State of Origin

first_imgTouch Football interstate rivalry resumes this weekend with the holding of the bi-annual State of Origin series at Canterbury Velodrome – Bayview Avenue, Earlwood. The New South Wales Touch Association will host the Queensland Touch Association on Friday, 22 August and Saturday, 23 August 2008. The fiercest of rivals will compete in Men’s Open, Women’s Open, Mixed Open, Men’s 20’s, Women’s 20’s, Men’s 30’s, Women’s 30’s, Men’s 35’s, Women’s 35’s, Men’s 40’s, Women’s 40’s, Men’s 45’s, and Men’s 50’s divisions to determine the overall winner.Men’s Open PreviewNew South Wales chances of overcoming their Queensland counterparts was dealt a major blow with captain, Garry Sonda being unable to recover from a knee injury. Sonda’s leadership and passion for the blue jersey will be sorely missed. Jason Stanton is also a notable absentee from the line-up but NSW have the depth to cover these major losses. Expect the Canterbury duo to Steve Roberts and Stuart Brierty to step and be countered. The defence of Roberts and Brierty will be vital to stop the numerous Queensland raids on the line. While driving it out from the line to give Anthony Ziade and Dylan Hennessey time and space to show their attacking genius.The key man to defending Queensland title is the brilliant Drumayne Dayberg-Muir. New South Wales will be unable to stop Dayberg-Muir but only hope to limit his effectiveness. Queensland boast a very experienced line-up and will look to the cool heads of Ryan Pollock and Ben Robinson to get their team home in tight situations. Nathan Jones is as fit as they come and his tireless efforts in attack and defence will be instrumental in a Queensland victory.Women’s Open PreviewJoint 2007 NSWTA Female Players of the Year and sisters, Claire and Louise Winchester, will need all of their sibling intuitions to crack the solid Queensland defence. The Winchesters are one of four sister pairings in the sides with the Judd’s (Kristy and Amanda) – NSW, Hopkin’s (Emily and Sam) – QLD, and Etheridge’s (Gemma and Nikki) – QLD all pairing up to do their families and states proud in the interstate clashes.The three game series will also be witness to some of the hottest young Touch Football talent in the country. Proving that if you are good enough, you are old enough, Queensland’s Sam Hopkin and Ali Brigginshaw and New South Wales’ Nicole Albery, Nicole Beck, and Ashleigh Dobbins have broken into the Open teams despite being young enough to compete in the Women’s 20’s division. The five will be determined to be successful against the many Women’s Open superstars who have been the cornerstone of Australian World Cup campaigns that have never tasted defeat.The two states last competed in 2006 where NSW defeated QLD winning seven of the thirteen divisions. QLD will be looking to stop NSW securing their third consecutive State of Origin title.For information about the 2008 State of Origin, please visit the NSWTA website – www.nswtouch.com.aulast_img

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