State Of Origin 2021 Game 1 Tips, Odds, Big Bets and How To Watch – QLD Maroons vs NSW Blues


Queensland Country Bank Stadium will play host to Wednesday”s
State Of Origin 2021 game between Queensland and
New South Wales. The game kicks off at 8:10 pm with New South Wales heading into the game as favourites with the bookmakers. Continue reading for our in-depth preview of the Queensland vs.
New South Wales
game and give you our free tips and bets.

When: Wednesday June 9, 2021 at 8:10 pm

Where: Queensland Country Bank Stadium

Bet 💰: Bet On This Match HERE

Queensland vs New South Wales Odds

Queensland vs New South Wales Preview

With Game 1 of the 20201 State of Origin series being moved to Townsville a little over a week out kick off it’s no surprise to see Queensland shorten in betting.

The Blues remain strong favourites for this one though and they know that if they can pull off a win in game 1 it’ll go a long way to winning the series.

A loss here though could flip the series betting odds on their head and see Queensland favourites to win the series.

As always, this will be a fiery contest and one that you won’t want to miss. I still think the Blues are the best team here and I’ll back them in to win this game and the series.

Origin Market Update:

The first of the Origin matches will be played tonight and punters have been keen to back the Blues to win away from home.

The Blues opened at $1.70 and have had solid support throughout betting and are now into $1.47 whilst the Maroons have been notable drifters in the market and are now out to $2.70 after opening at $2.15.

Here’s where the money is going:

  • There has been a $50,000 bet on NSW/NSW in the Halftime/Fulltime Double at $1.95.
  • One punter has had a $34,000 Line bet on NSW -5.5 at $1.85.
  • A $25,000 outlay has been made on the match total being above 42.5 points at $1.95 while a $20,000 bet at $1.85 has been taken on Game One being under 42.5 points.
  • $20,000 has been placed on NSW to Win Both Halves at $2.70.
  • Josh Addo-Carr ($9) is now the best backed in the First Try Scorer market with 16 percent of the hold, just ahead of Tom Trbojevic ($11) and Latrell Mitchell ($13).
  • Strong late money has come for Mitchell ($23) to be named Player Of The Match but the early plunge on Cameron Murray ($21) has seen him remain the most popular with 18 percent of the market while favourite Nathan Cleary ($5.50) is next best supported with 15 percent.
  • NSW is now into $2.90 to win by 1-12 and 13+ with Queensland to win by 1-12 now out to $4.

How to watch the 2021 State of Origin

Wondering how to watch the State of Origin 2021? See our broadcast guide for the game below.

State of Origin 2021 TV Coverage

Channel Nine will broadcast the 20201 State of Origin series live and free into Australian homes.

The network has the exclusive rights to the event so while the games are free for all, you’re unable to watch ad-free coverage on Foxtel or other subscription based services.

Coverage for the games will start at 7pm AEST, but check local guides as this may change from state to state.

How to Live Stream State of Origin 2021

As Channel 9 own the rights to the broadcast, they also have exclusive rights to stream the 2021 Origin Series.

Fans can stream the games by signing up to 9Now for free.

Live TV via 9Now live streaming is available on the following devices:

– Your computer, you just need the latest version of Safari, Internet Explorer, Chrome or Firefox.

– For iPad or iPhone, you need iOS 11+.

– Apple TV 4th Generation or older models can Airplay.

– For Android tablets or phones you need 5.0+.

– On Chromecast.

– On Telstra TV.

– On Fetch TV.

– On PS4.

– On Sony Android TVs.

– On selected Android TVs and devices.

– On LG TV models 2018+

– On Samsung TV models 2018+

– On Amazon Fire TV stick lite

Queensland vs New South Wales Teams

Queensland

Jai Arrow (Rabbitohs), AJ Brimson (Titans), Kurt Capewell (Panthers), Daly Cherry-Evans (Sea Eagles), Xavier Coates (Broncos), Tino Fa’asuamaleaui (Titans), Kyle Feldt (Cowboys), David Fifita (Titans), Moeaki Fotuaika (Titans), Dane Gagai (Rabbitohs), Harry Grant (Storm), Coen Hess (Cowboys), Valentine Holmes (Cowboys), Felise Kaufusi (Storm), Reed Mahoney (Eels), Cameron Munster (Storm), Joe Ofahengaue (Tigers), Kalyn Ponga (Knights), Jaydn Su’A (Rabbitohs), Christian Welch (Storm)

New South Wales

James Tedesco (Roosters), Brian To’o (Panthers), Latrell Mitchell (Rabbitohs), Tom Trbojevic (Sea Eagles), Josh Addo-Carr (Storm), Jarome Luai (Panthers), Nathan Cleary (Panthers), Daniel Saifiti (Knights), Damien Cook (Rabbitohs), Jake Trbojevic (Sea Eagles), Cameron Murray (Rabbitohs), Tariq Sims (Dragons), Isaah Yeo (Panthers), Jack Wighton (Raiders), Junior Paulo (Eels), Payne Haas (Broncos), Liam Martin (Panthers), Api Koroisau (Panthers), Campbell Graham (Rabbitohs)



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Brad Fittler’s masterstroke the key to Latrell Mitchell’s stunning State of Origin return for NSW Blues


Former referee and referees boss Bernie Sutton.

Oh brother

The NRL is very image conscious, so it is not surprising that the image to the right, which has been sent to leading Blues officials, has caused considerable angst among the game’s bosses.

For those struggling to identify the person wearing a Queensland team polo shirt, it is Bernie Sutton, who was the NRL referees boss until Jared Maxwell replaced him this year. Sutton is the brother of Gerard Sutton, who refereed the State of Origin opener on Wednesday.

The Blues were not impressed when sent the image.

In a concerning admission, the NRL admits it had no idea Bernie Sutton was working with one of the teams until 24 hours before kick-off.

“And we discovered it by chance,” NRL chief executive Andrew Abdo said. “We weren’t aware until the day before the game when someone informed us that he was at Queensland training.

“I’m disappointed there was a lack of disclosure, but it is not uncommon for former referees to be used as consultants to clubs and Origin squads. It certainly didn’t impact the way Gerry refereed the game. I think everyone agrees Gerry had an outstanding game. We’ve certainly had no complaints about the officiating from either state.”

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This column is not suggesting that Gerard Sutton was influenced by his brother’s association with Queensland, or that he even knew his brother was in the Maroons camp.

However, to say the teams had no issues with the officiating in the Origin series opener is incorrect. The penalty count was 4-all, but the six-again restarts went 8-1 to Queensland. That was a sore point among Blues officials.

Harry v Turbo II

Harry, of the “Manly Corso dash” fame, was delighted with the stunning three-try effort from Tom Trbojevic in the Origin opener. He watched the game with his mates at Harbord Diggers.

“He was insane,” Harry said. “I reckon I put him on the right track.”

As crazy as it sounds, Harry might be right on the money as Trbojevic swore off alcohol until the end of the season following his now-infamous race against Harry down the Manly Corso after a night of drinking. “To be honest, that’s not hard for me to do,” Trbojevic said in the sheds after Origin I where a few players were enjoying a cold one. “I’m not much of a drinker.”

For all Turbo’s success in his stunning return to the game, Harry maintains he is faster. “I’m up for a rematch at the end of the season if he wants one,” he said.

Daly grind

Hours after the worst loss in Queensland Origin history, Daly Cherry-Evans was walking through Townsville Airport with his wife and three children, and his arms as full as they had been the night before with Tom Trbojevic running at him. He had every right to be short with fans, but he stopped, talked and posed for photos with anyone who approached him. Even this columnist. I wanted to know about the tears I thought I saw in his eyes when the anthem was being sung.

“Tears?” he responded. “No, my eyes are just sensitive to wind. That’s all it was.”

He could have been excused if he’d shed a tear after the match. It has been a tough loss and tough build-up. NRL officials smeared his character to journalists, trying to paint him as a self-centred individual because they thought he was driving the push to hold Peter V’landys accountable for the poorly executed high-tackle crackdown.

DCE was under fire last year when he stood up for the players as they fought to maintain their wages amid the COVID-19 shutdown. Cherry-Evans knows what was being peddled this time around. He’s heard worse. When he backflipped on a deal to join the Gold Coast in 2015, he was branded a “filthy cockroach” by sections of the Queensland media. Then there was the story about being on the outer with other players; firstly at Manly then at Queensland. He fought back brilliantly and is now the captain of club and state.

Cherry-Evans did not look to hide during his most recent run-in with the NRL and addressed the topic during a host of interviews in the lead-up to Origin I. He didn’t back away from the story, saying there were players who believed V’landys had overstepped the mark and it was time for him to go.

Gal could earn more from boxing than football

Paul Gallen’s boxing career continues to gather pace, even as he approaches the age of 40. It is one of the more remarkable sporting stories in the country – and he is being suitably rewarded for it.

Gallen is poised to pocket much more than $1 million – and possibly as much as $2m – for Wednesday night’s fight with Justis Huni.

Gallen’s past six months as a fighter are set to earn him as much as he made in three-quarters of his football career. Given he played 19 seasons and 349 games for the Sharks, as well as 24 matches for NSW in State of Origin and pulled on the Kangaroos jersey 32 times, that is quite remarkable.

Former NRL legend Paul Gallen and Justis Huni go toe-to-toe in Sydney on June 16.

Former NRL legend Paul Gallen and Justis Huni go toe-to-toe in Sydney on June 16.Credit:Getty

“I won’t talk about money or my earnings,” Gallen said. “I don’t know who is discussing what I can make or have made. What I will say is I’m the one who is putting my neck on the line and I’m not doing it to be a hero. I’m a prizefighter and I’m doing this to make sure my family has a good life. It really annoys me. You know we come into this life, everyone wills you to crawl and then walk and run, but then if you get good at something when you are older, people just want to put shit on you and see you fail. I know there are plenty of people who don’t like me and don’t like what I’m doing, but I don’t care. I’m in there swinging and I’ll do my best.”

Gallen will pocket as much as 85 per cent of the money from the fight at Sydney’s International Convention Centre as Huni looks to raise his profile and prepare for the Tokyo Olympics.

There is still the possibility Gallen’s biggest fight will be against Sonny Bill Williams.

“I’ve said all along that I’ll fight him,” Gallen said. “But I feel like I may have passed him by.”

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Gould time had by all

An interesting corporate lunch took place at Canterbury League Club during the week where the guest speaker was Phil Gould. It’s interesting because the Bulldogs wanted him to be their general manager of football.

Gould made a huge impression on sponsors and guests on Friday but remains committed to the Warriors, where he is working as a consultant as the club looks to build around new coach Nathan Brown. Gould committed to the Canterbury lunch three months ago as a favour to club great Terry Lamb. Those who were at the event say Bulldogs officials are still considering how they can bring him to the club, even though he turned down their approach.

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Queen of the State of Origin meme


As far as disastrous PR opportunities go, politicians pretending to be sports fans is right up the top of the list. From John Howard’s abysmal attempt to bowl a cricket ball to, well, Kevin Rudd’s equally abysmal effort, we have a long and YouTubeable history of politicians dropping the ball – literally.

But none have been quite as bizarre as the tweet offered up by NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian this week, ahead of the State of Origin game between NSW and Queensland.

Posted a casual four hours before kick-off, the image is both baffling and brilliant. Here we see a beanie-clad Gladys frozen rigidly in what appears to be a blacked-out hotel room. At least, we assume it is her, but really that back could belong to anyone.

The Premier is clutching a can of Coke No Sugar – the drink of choice for footy fans – and staring in the direction of a tiny television that is, annoyingly, out of frame. Given the composition and breathlessness of the photo, you get the feeling someone off-camera may be holding a gun.

The tweet was posted at 4pm with the caption: “Getting ready for Game 1”, but the State of Origin didn’t kick off until 8pm. So taking Gladys at her word (and why wouldn’t we?), we are to assume she was so geed up for the big dance she shuffled into position four hours early. With just one can of Coke.

Undoubtedly this hastily prepared social media post was the work of a (presumably) ex-staffer. Fire the tweet off, and let’s move on, shall we? Unfortunately, the internet is less forgiving, and almost as soon as Gladys bungled her way onto the bandwagon, the memes did flow.

They say it’s the people closest to you who hurt you the most, which is probably how Gladys felt when Deputy Premier John Barilaro stuck the boot in early.

Gladys Watching Things looks set to become a legendary meme series in its own right, with Twitter users wasting no time inserting SportsFan Gladys into a series of different scenarios.

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Healthy attitude to State of Origin a no-brainer


In this showcase of the game, was anything lost by having a starting point of “brain health” and working your way back from there?

Tom Trbojevic had a night to remember on Wednesday, scoring three tries for NSW.Credit:Getty

Ratings peaked at 3.2 million, which saw the TV boffins purr. And yes, I could get a quote from them, but what would that count? Those boogers would find something positive to say if the ratings were a third of that – it’s their job. Instead let us go to the oracle, the great Kenny Sutcliffe, who though long retired and freezing in Mudgee, devoured the whole thing.

“Watched Origin and loved every second,” he told me. “We were enthralled by gifted players lifting skills to another level and doing it in relative safety because of the new tackling rules. One sided or not, it was a joy to watch. It’s a new and positive era for the code.”

Told yers. The Oracle speaks!

Head games

Jaysus. Highlighting the need for change, I got another authoritative report about another league legend this week, still a relatively young man, whose body is as fit as ever but whose mind is mush. Just . . . gone. When his wife is away, he needs carers, and he spends most of his time gardening and walking the dog.

And, in the public domain, Brett Horsnell who played for the Gold Coast and Parramatta – and by his count was knocked out 51 times – posted on Facebook this week, these words: “So, for those of you who are disbelievers about Concussions. I’ve just spent 4 days in hospital with bleeding on the brain. Luckily close to the bone so no damage done this time! Another 4 staples in my skull.”

He is 51!

Parramatta? Gold Coast? NRL? Reach out for this guy. He is your guy. By his credible account, he received the damage doing him down while in your employ, and even though he can no longer entertain the mob, and keep the turnstiles clicking, it is at the very least your moral duty to look after him and see what you can do to help.

Angering Ange

Well, I never. Four years ago your humble correspondent was minding his own business, feet up, at home, when a headline popped up on the SMH website.

“Peter FitzSimons’ questioning made Ange Postecoglou determined to walk away on his terms.”

Goodness! As I recounted at the time, the thrust of the piece by my colleague Mike Lynch turned on an interview the former Socceroos coach gave to Fox Sports about why he quit so suddenly after his team qualified for the World Cup.

Turns out, sports fans, it was me on the grassy knoll! The guts of it was that when I questioned Postecoglou on Channel Nine’s Sports Sunday program earlier in the year, as to whether he would fall on his sword if the Socceroos failed to qualify for the World Cup, he decided he didn’t want to put up with that kind of shit any more so would leave on his own terms.

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And he did.

And . . . NOW LOOK AT HIM!

This week, Postecoglou was confirmed as the new manager of Celtic. I am reliably informed the position is about five times more prestigious than being Socceroos coach, and twice as well remunerated.

You are welcome Ange. No, really.

Palming off Folau

One of the Twitterati made an interesting point to me this week: “Would it be cheaper for Australian sport if they all chipped in to pay Folau not to play any sport to avoid further legal costs?”

It might be! And not just the saving on legal fees. It would stop cold the endless trail of destruction in his wake!

He still has one key supporter, however. Clive Palmer was carrying on this week about how if Folau – and I am not making this up – had been selected for Queensland, he would have, and I quote, “made a difference. Queensland needed someone of his ability. Everyone in Queensland now needs to write to the QRL to voice their disapproval.”

Gee, Clive, with leadership like that, maybe you should start your own political party?

Oh, WAIT!

But seriously, if Folau is still so good he could swing a State of Origin, Catalans must have been devastated about losing him, yes? Uh, no. Wide World of Sports veteran reporter Tony Adams gave it to me straight: “I have a source high up at the club who told me that when he left at the start of the year, he promised Catalans that he would be back when the season started. But they knew he was gone for good and they didn’t really care.”

Clive Palmer and Israel Folau on the Gold Coast.

Clive Palmer and Israel Folau on the Gold Coast.Credit:Getty

Why not?

“They weren’t impressed with the guy on or off the field and the fact he hasn’t even contacted Catalans to explain his non-return speaks volumes to them. He is very outspoken when it suits him – but very quiet when he has done the wrong thing. He is contracted to Catalans until November and they don’t feel like doing him any favours. They won’t release him . . . unless of course Mr Palmer comes up with a truckload of Euros to buy out the contract – that will change things very quickly.”

Pass the popcorn, sports fans. This is fabulous!

What they said

The redoubtable Benny Elias: “Whether we won last night by 1 point or 44 points it doesn’t matter, the job is only a third done.” Benny, we talked about this back in school! I said you have to do your maths homework, and you said you had to go to tackling practice instead. And now look what has happened. The job is actually half-done.

Golfer Megha Ganne, 17, on contending in the Women’s US Open while dealing with calculus homework: “I don’t know how I’m going to manage to fit that into my schedule in the next few days. Hopefully, my teacher gives me a little bit more time to do that. It’s hard to balance both.”

Steve “Blocker” Roach: “The Wests Tigers laying down like that . . . this ain’t soccer. You’ve got to get to your feet. He won the penalty but people won’t appreciate that.”

Nathan Buckley on his time at Collingwood coming to an end: “It is a bit sad to understand that that will be coming to an end on Monday. I have had a fair crack at it and everyone has their time, every person and every relationship, and mine has come.”

Tayla Harris on leaving Carlton to join the Demons: “I can already tell this will be a great environment for me to be the best version of myself.”

Serena Williams during her defeat at the French Open.

Serena Williams during her defeat at the French Open.Credit:New York Times

Serena Williams after a tough French Open win: “I just needed a win. I needed to win tough matches. I needed to win sets. I needed to win being down. I needed to find me, know who I am. Nobody else is Serena out here. It’s me. It’s pretty cool.”

Golfer Lexi Thompson dropping a Michael Clarke: “I was just taking it way too seriously and thinking that Lexi depended on my score.”

Celtic announce their big news: “Celtic is pleased to announce the appointment of Ange Postecoglou as the club’s first-team manager with Ange commencing employment with immediate effect. The board is pleased to welcome Ange to the club and looks forward to working with him in the future.”

Carlton coach David Teague after another bad loss: “In terms of the brand and the game style, today it was more being able to execute the fundamentals. But we’ve got to become more consistent in our brand of footy, regardless of who we play or where we play.”

Mal Meninga: “My preference is that if you make yourself available for NSW and Queensland that, first and foremost, you are available for the Kangaroos. You might describe that as selfish but I want to keep the fabric of Origin clean. I’m a huge fan of the international game and I don’t begrudge players wanting to play for their ancestors and their country.” That’s an easy one, Mal. No. Proper league administration means strengthening other nations so the Kangaroos have some genuine competition.

Prescient James Tedesco speaking about Tom Trbojevic before Origin I:“He’s had a few years of experience and he’s got over a couple of injuries as well. He’s looking great out there. He’s put on a bit of size as well, he’s looking huge. So he’s using that size to his advantage and creating a lot of havoc. Hopefully we can cause some havoc together.” They did.

Cameron Munster on kicking Liam Martin in Origin I. “I know the person I am, I’m kicking myself.” All even on the card then!

Two-time Olympic silver medallist Maddie Groves, announcing she would not be going to the trials for the Tokyo Games: “Let this be a lesson to all misogynistic perverts in sport and their boot lickers. You can no longer exploit young women and girls, body shame or medically gaslight them and then expect them to represent you so you can earn your annual bonus. Time’s UP.” Is she OK? And I mean that seriously. That level of upset needs careful follow-up.

Team of the week

Tom Trbojevic. Imperial, without being imperious. Scored three tries for NSW in Origin I and seemed … rather pleased.

The Illawarra Hawks. Had a good win over the Perth Wildcats in game one of the NBL semi-final series. If they win on Friday night, they will be in the grand final – the whole thing a credit to the redoubtable Brian Goorjian who took over a team in last place, and now has them on the edge of glory days. He is said to be getting interest from the NBA on the strength of it. I should insult him, whereupon he can go off in a huff and end up with the Chicago Bulls. (See Postecoglou item.)

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Serena Williams. Running out of chances to win that elusive 24th grand slam. Since she won her first in 1999, her previous longest drought without a win was nine. It’s now been 16 slams since her last title.

Joe Montemurro. The Australian leaves his position as coach of the Arsenal women’s side to take over at Juventus.

Neale Daniher. The ailing AFL legend’s FightMND charity is nudging towards raising $2 million to help combat motor neurone disease. The feature match between Melbourne and Collingwood, called – appropriately enough – the Big Freeze, was moved from Melbourne to the SCG this public holiday Monday. Daniher is from the Riverina and once played with all three of his brothers at Essendon.

Twitter: @Peter_Fitz



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NRL not giving up on MCG hosting State of Origin I in wake of Melbourne’s COVID-19 outbreak


NRL chief executive Andrew Abdo says it will not rule out the MCG hosting the State of Origin series opener on June 9, despite Melbourne entering a seven-day lockdown amid its coronavirus outbreak.

But Abdo said the NRL was considering the option of moving Origin I to an alternative venue.

Melbourne will begin its lockdown period from midnight after the number of positive cases reached 26, with 11 new cases recorded overnight.

The NRL is weighing up whether to move the match between Queensland and New South Wales to another venue outside of Victoria but Abdo said the league would monitor the situation in Melbourne before making any decision.

“We want to make sure that we give Melbourne every chance of hosting game one, which is coming up in a couple of weeks,” he said.

“Should that not be the case then we’ll consider safety, we’ll consider a number of factors in looking at alternative venues. Nothing is off the table. We’ll be looking at a wide range of potential locations.” 

Abdo said the NRL would prefer not to play Origin I in an empty MCG but it would still consider the option.

“It’s not ruled out but this is State of Origin,” he said.

“It’s a pretty special occasion and clearly playing in front of a crowd — some crowd — is definitely a factor, yes.

“I don’t think the Victorian government or Visit Victoria would want us to play in front of an empty stadium. The whole point of us taking State of Origin there (Melbourne) is ideally you want to be playing in front of 80, 90,000 people.

“So that’s not ideal but we haven’t yet made that decision.”

Abdo said the SCG and Brisbane’s Lang Park remained potential venues to host Origin I.

“We’re looking at about every state and territory and also considering Queensland and New South Wales as options as well,” he said.

“It’s a very unusual situation, it’s very complex so we need to consider everything very carefully.”

Abdo said he hoped a decision on the venue for Origin I would be made by early next week.

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Maroons v Blues Match Highlights | Game I, 2021 | State of Origin | NRL – NRL – National Rugby League


  1. Maroons v Blues Match Highlights | Game I, 2021 | State of Origin | NRL  NRL – National Rugby League
  2. State of Origin I: Queensland Maroons vs New South Wales Blues  ABC News
  3. NSW Blues get set to face off against Queensland’s Cameron Munster show for Origin 1  Brisbane Times
  4. State of Origin: Vote for your favourite FNQ Maroons’ player  The Cairns Post
  5. State of Origin NSW Queensland young guns preparing for first game wednesday  Daily Mail
  6. View Full coverage on Google News

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2021 State of Origin to begin, Melbourne COVID cases grow, Operation Ironside, AFP foreshadow more arrests, Ben Roberts-Smith case resumes, Tamil family may be resettled in US, NZ


Senior officials leading Victoria’s contact tracing efforts believe Melbourne’s Kappa coronavirus outbreak would have been contained to just over a dozen people if there had not been a delay between people developing symptoms and getting tested.

Health Department chief Euan Wallace said after almost 90 days without a coronavirus case in Victoria, complacency had become a problem in the lead up to the outbreak, first detected in May, and people were not seeking tests for a runny nose, sore throat or other symptoms.

Professor Euan Wallace says complacency has become a problem when it comes to people getting tested.

Professor Euan Wallace says complacency has become a problem when it comes to people getting tested. Credit:Simon Schluter

The Victorian Health Department has estimated that if one of the earlier cases in the cluster had got tested within 48 hours, the outbreak would have only spread to 14 people, instead of 73, and the outbreak at Stratton Finance in Port Melbourne wouldn’t have occurred.

Deputy Chief Health Officer Daniel O’Brien said while he was grateful the person did eventually have a test more than two days after their symptoms occurred, it was a reminder not to wait.

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“The speed is the key. And when we lose two, three, four or five days, it really puts us behind,” he said.

Associate Professor O’Brien also revealed that subsequent swift action from contact tracers could have averted the cluster spiralling into a major outbreak, as the team being led out of the Austin Hospital managed to contact five rings of potential transmission within just 60 hours.

He said by the time they were aware of the first case at Stratton Finance, there were already another dozen COVID-positive people out in the community.

“If we hadn’t had that speed to get to that so quickly those 12 people could have really led to a major outbreak, a super-spreading event,” he said.

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Inside NSW Blues’ jersey presentation for Origin 1


Like Martin, it’s unlikely Jarome Luai, 24, and Brian To’o, 22, would be here if not for the love and support of their families.

The To’o clan arrived late to Sunday’s function and were called up just as they arrived. The honour of handing over the sky blue jumper was left to Brian’s older brother, Eddie, who is eight years his senior.

Brian To’o with his family after receiving his NSW jersey from brother Eddie.Credit:NRL Photos

“It was emotional, eh?” Eddie recalled. “We always knew that he would do something in the sporting arena. He’s always been that funny kid off the field — but on it he’s always been a beast.”

The To’o family was left devastated in 2008 when Brian’s eight-year-old sister, Danielle, passed away following a short battle with cancer the day before his 10th birthday.

It puts a game of football into context. It also means she is often in his thoughts whenever he plays, regardless of the jersey he’s wearing.

“There’s a little quote he always uses in the group chat between us brothers,” Eddie said. “Carry and fly. He’s always saying, ‘I’m going out to carry my family and friends on my shoulders, and fly with my little sister above me’.

Liam Martin with mum Maxine and family.

Liam Martin with mum Maxine and family.Credit:NRL Photos

“He goes through these little statements. At the start of the year, it was, ‘Whatever it takes’. We kept telling him that whatever it takes to be there, he has to do it. Now he’s it’s, ‘Just carry and fly, carry and fly’.”

The Luai family’s story has been told many times; about how his father, Martin, missed his son’s debut for the Panthers because he was serving a two-year jail sentence.

When it came to speaking on Sunday night, holding the prized No.6 jumper his son will wear in coming days, he choked back tears before uttering a word.

“We’ve been through a lot as a family” Martin said. “I know this jersey means a lot to NSW fans. I know it’s been passed down from past players as well. And I know it’s something that Jarome will have so much respect for. I’ve seen him grow up into the young man he is today. It’s just been a pleasure … I’m lost for words, eh?”

Jarome Luai with his family after receiving his NSW jumper.

Jarome Luai with his family after receiving his NSW jumper. Credit:NRL Photos

Then it was Jarome’s turn to address his new Blues teammates.

“Like my old man said, I’m going to give you everything I’ve got,” he said. “We’re not losing to these guys.”

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Which brings us back to Liam and Maxine Martin. In his early years, when he first started playing junior reps for Penrith, they’d jump in the car and head north.

During the five-hour drive, Liam would study, teaching the history teacher alongside him all about the wonders of biology and chemistry.

“She was my rock growing up,” Liam told his teammates, tears in his eyes, before dropping a few expletives while caught up in the emotion of the moment.

“Don’t worry,” Maxine said sternly on Monday, “I’ll be having a word to him about his language.”

Thank you for spending time with us on My Local Pages. We hope you enjoyed checking out this news article about League called “Inside NSW Blues’ jersey presentation for Origin 1”. This story was presented by My Local Pages as part of our local news services.

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Queensland vs New South Wales Tips, Odds and Betting – State Of Origin 2021 Game 1


Queensland Country Bank Stadium will play host to Wednesday”s
State Of Origin 2021 game between Queensland and
New South Wales. The game kicks off at 8:10 pm with New South Wales heading into the game as favourites with the bookmakers. Continue reading for our in-depth preview of the Queensland vs.
New South Wales
game and give you our free tips and bets.

When: Wednesday June 9, 2021 at 8:10 pm

Where: Queensland Country Bank Stadium

Bet 💰: Bet On This Match HERE

Queensland vs New South Wales Odds

Queensland vs New South Wales Preview

With Game 1 of the 20201 State of Origin series being moved to Townsville a little over a week out kick off it’s no surprise to see Queensland shorten in betting.

The Blues remain strong favourites for this one though and they know that if they can pull off a win in game 1 it’ll go a long way to winning the series.

A loss here though could flip the series betting odds on their head and see Queensland favourites to win the series.

As always, this will be a fiery contest and one that you won’t want to miss. I still think the Blues are the best team here and I’ll back them in to win this game and the series.

Queensland vs New South Wales Teams

Queensland

Jai Arrow (Rabbitohs), AJ Brimson (Titans), Kurt Capewell (Panthers), Daly Cherry-Evans (Sea Eagles), Xavier Coates (Broncos), Tino Fa’asuamaleaui (Titans), Kyle Feldt (Cowboys), David Fifita (Titans), Moeaki Fotuaika (Titans), Dane Gagai (Rabbitohs), Harry Grant (Storm), Coen Hess (Cowboys), Valentine Holmes (Cowboys), Felise Kaufusi (Storm), Reed Mahoney (Eels), Cameron Munster (Storm), Joe Ofahengaue (Tigers), Kalyn Ponga (Knights), Jaydn Su’A (Rabbitohs), Christian Welch (Storm)

New South Wales

James Tedesco (Roosters), Brian To’o (Panthers), Latrell Mitchell (Rabbitohs), Tom Trbojevic (Sea Eagles), Josh Addo-Carr (Storm), Jarome Luai (Panthers), Nathan Cleary (Panthers), Daniel Saifiti (Knights), Damien Cook (Rabbitohs), Jake Trbojevic (Sea Eagles), Cameron Murray (Rabbitohs), Tariq Sims (Dragons), Isaah Yeo (Panthers), Jack Wighton (Raiders), Junior Paulo (Eels), Payne Haas (Broncos), Liam Martin (Panthers), Api Koroisau (Panthers), Campbell Graham (Rabbitohs)



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Queensland full-back Kalyn Ponga ruled out of State of Origin opener after failing fitness test



Queensland will be without Kalyn Ponga for next Wednesday’s State of Origin opener after the full-back failed a fitness test. 

Ponga had missed a month of NRL due to a groin injury and, with a week until game one, Paul Green pulled the pin on an unlikely last-ditch recovery as he looks to settle on his side.

“Kalyn has been progressing with his rehab but time is against us and the decision has been made for him to return to the Newcastle Knights where he can focus on further recovery,” team doctor Matt Hislop said.

It means Ponga has played just three of a possible nine Origins since his remarkable debut off the bench in game two of the 2018 series.

A hamstring injury kept him out of the third game of that series, before a calf injury ruled him out of the 2019 decider.

He then opted for end of season shoulder surgery last year, ruling him out of the 2020 series and allowing AJ Brimson to arrive as a more than capable replacement before he too was ruled out with injury.

Brimson is in the squad again this year but is likely to be used by Green as a bench utility, with in-form North Queensland number one Valentine Holmes shifted in from the wing to replace Ponga.

That move clears the way for Holmes’ Cowboys teammate Kyle Feldt to debut, with Brisbane’s Xavier Coates on the other flank.

Melbourne pair Harry Grant and Cameron Munster also arrived in camp this week under injury clouds, although Green was confident both will feature in Townsville.

Storm teammate Felise Kaufusi will also be there after he was found not guilty of a tripping charge that threatened to rob him of a 10th Origin appearance.

The 29-year-old, appearing via video link from Maroons camp on the Gold Coast on Tuesday night, was cleared of a grade-one trip that carried a one-match ban.

Queensland’s most experienced forward let out a cheer when the verdict was read, knowing how much his inclusion means for the injury-disrupted Maroons camp.

AAP

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