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Blues v Maroons: Moses, Mitchell return; Capewell called in

The NSW Blues will travel to Melbourne determined to keep the State of Origin series alive as they look to set up a Suncorp Stadium decider. 

The Blues Game One hopes were derailed just seven minutes into the contest when debutant Joseph-Aukuso Sua'ali'i was sent off for a high shot on Queensland fullback Reece Walsh.  

While NSW fought hard, the challenged proved too great and they ultimately fell 38-10. 

Coach Michael Maguire has made five changes to his team for Game Two at the MCG, with halfback Mitchell Moses tasked with leading the side around the park after replacing Nicho Hynes. 

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The Blues are also looking to Latrell Mitchell to make an instant impact in his first Origin game since 2021 after he was named to replace Sua'ali'i in the centres. 

The Maroons will venture south full of confidence as they look to secure a third-straight series victory under coach Billy Slater. 

In a warning sign for the Blues, the Queensland legend has declared his side's best is still to come and he's challenged his players to produce an even better performance in front of a packed MCG. 

NSW prevailed 22-12 the last time the teams played at the venue in 2019, with Mitchell, Jake Trbojevic and Angus Crichton the only players remaining from the clash. 

The Maroons side has also changed considerably since that occasion, with Ben Hunt, Valentine Holmes, Felise Kaufusi and 18th man Dane Gagai featuring in the loss. 

Latest Team News

New South Wales: The Blues are 1-17 with no late changes on game day. Ccoach Michael Maguire has made five changes for the must-win clash, with Mitchell Moses replacing halfback Nicho Hynes in the No.7 jersey. Fullback Dylan Edwards is set for a long-awaited Origin debut after his late withdrawal from the opener with a quad injury. Latrell Mitchell replaces the suspended Joseph Sua'ali'i in the centres, while Cameron Murray has been named in place of Cameron McInnes at lock. Finally, Connor Watson is set for his NSW debut in jumper No.14 as the bench utility, with Hudson Young dropping out. Mitch Barnett is 18th man.

Queensland: The Maroons will take the field 1-17 as named. Billy Slater has named a settled squad for Game Two, making just two changes to the side that prevailed in Sydney. Kurt Capewell has replaced bench utility Selwyn Cobbo while Felise Kaufusi has been promoted to the bench after featuring as 18th man during the series opener, with J'maine Hopgood dropping out. Dane Gagai is 18th man for the Maroons.

Team Lists


  • Fullback for Blues is number 1 Dylan Edwards
    Fullback for Maroons is number 1 Reece Walsh
  • Winger for Blues is number 2 Brian To'o
    Winger for Maroons is number 2 Xavier Coates
  • Centre for Blues is number 3 Latrell Mitchell
    Centre for Maroons is number 3 Valentine Holmes
  • Centre for Blues is number 4 Stephen Crichton
    Centre for Maroons is number 4 Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow
  • Winger for Blues is number 5 Zac Lomax
    Winger for Maroons is number 5 Murray Taulagi
  • Five-Eighth for Blues is number 6 Jarome Luai
    Five-Eighth for Maroons is number 6 Tom Dearden
  • Halfback for Blues is number 7 Mitchell Moses
    Halfback for Maroons is number 7 Daly Cherry-Evans


  • Prop for Blues is number 8 Jake Trbojevic
    Prop for Maroons is number 8 Reuben Cotter
  • Hooker for Blues is number 9 Reece Robson
    Hooker for Maroons is number 9 Ben Hunt
  • Prop for Blues is number 10 Payne Haas
    Prop for Maroons is number 10 Lindsay Collins
  • 2nd Row for Blues is number 11 Liam Martin
    2nd Row for Maroons is number 11 Jaydn Su'A
  • 2nd Row for Blues is number 12 Angus Crichton
    2nd Row for Maroons is number 12 Jeremiah Nanai
  • Lock for Blues is number 13 Cameron Murray
    Lock for Maroons is number 13 Patrick Carrigan


  • Interchange for Blues is number 14 Connor Watson
    Interchange for Maroons is number 14 Harry Grant
  • Interchange for Blues is number 15 Isaah Yeo
    Interchange for Maroons is number 15 Moeaki Fotuaika
  • Interchange for Blues is number 16 Haumole Olakau'atu
    Interchange for Maroons is number 16 Felise Kaufusi
  • Interchange for Blues is number 17 Spencer Leniu
    Interchange for Maroons is number 17 Kurt Capewell


  • Replacement for Blues is number 18 Mitchell Barnett
    Replacement for Maroons is number 18 Dane Gagai

Match Officials

  • Referee: Ashley Klein
  • Touch Judge: Chris Sutton
  • Touch Judge: Dave Munro
  • Senior Review Official: Grant Atkins

Last updated:

Stat Attack

  • Historically after claiming Game One in Sydney the Maroons have gone on to win seven series (1988, 1995, 1998, 2010, 2015, 2016, 2022) and lose only one (1994).
  • New South Wales hold a 4-1 advantage in Origin matches played at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.
  • Maroons centre Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow has scored eight tries in five Origin matches. He has scored at least one try in all of his games for Queensland.
  • Since Origin became a three-game series in 1982, the state that has lost the first game has come back to win the series just 10 times (out of 41).
  • Queensland's Cameron Smith holds the record for most Origin games with 42, followed by fellow Maroon Johnathan Thurston on 37.
  • NSW's Ryan Girdler and Maroon Lote Tuqiri hold the record for most tries in an Origin series with five, both achieving the feat in the 2000 series.

Stats supplied by David Middleton, League Information Services, author of the official annual of the NRL

Acknowledgement of Country

Penrith Panthers players and staff respect and honour the traditional custodians of the land and pay our respects to their elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.