Maroons May Get Boost from Slater Departure

A breeze of optimism has blown through the Queensland Maroons side.

After losing incumbent fullback Billy Slater to a nagging shoulder injury few would have credited Queensland’s chance at victory in the third game of Origin, to be played on July 8 at Suncorp Stadium.

But many believe the Maroons will be better off without the injured Slater.

Their opinion comes through a comparison of stats between Blues’ and Maroons’ fullbacks.

Josh Dugan was consistently better than Billy Slater, in every aspect of the game. Slater’s injured shoulder needed surgery even before game one. The Blues were told to expect Slater to pass in games one and two as his shoulder would not allow him to run into the line of defence.

Slater is still the best communicator on the field, and the Maroons will miss his ability to spot a chink in the Blues armour and capitalise on it.

But what incoming fullback, Greg Inglis, lacks in strategy he more than makes up for in sheer athleticism.

Inglis is expected to outpoint Dugan in game Three every bit as much as Slater was outpointed by him in the first two. Inglis is younger, very experienced in the position, has a wealth of big-game experience, and is arguably the most valuable player in the NRL today.

But the Blues have had their own piece of good news with Josh Jackson having  his charge downgraded, allowing him to play in the Origin decider.

 

Breakdown of stats from the first two Origins

_____________________Dugan                                                Slater

Meters                                306                                                     193

Runs                                    32                                                        23

Errors                                  1                                                          2

Tackle Busts                       10                                                        6

Tackles                                17                                                        8

Line Breaks                        2                                                          1

Tries                                    1                                                          0

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