These are NSW’s centres of excellence.
Blues superstars Tom Trbojevic and Latrell Mitchell will be the centre of attention yet again as NSW look to secure a famous and historic win over Queensland in Brisbane.
The pair were scintillating during game one and are poised to ignite Origin II against a Queensland side still reeling from a demoralising 50-6 loss in Townsville.
Trbojevic and Mitchell combined for five tries and 332 run metres in the opening match.
“It’s awesome playing with Latrell,” Trbojevic said. “He is a freakish talent who has an ability to completely change a game in a second. What a player Trell is.”
Mitchell added: “Tommy is a superstar of the game. To have the impact he’s at club level is one thing but to do it at state level is unbelievable.”
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Latrell Mitchell scores during Game 1. Picture: Adam HeadSource:DailyTelegraph
Replicating game one, NSW’s coaching staff has given Trbojevic approval to roam the field on a seek-and-destroy mission.
In a Daily Telegraph poll last week, 61 per cent of respondents voted for Trbojevic as the best player in rugby league.
Throw in the power and skill of Mitchell and this could rank among the greatest centre combinations in NSW State of Origin history.
“You can tell Tom is at his confident best,” said NSW adviser, Greg Alexander. “And that rubs off on all the other players.
“When a player is as talented as Tom and he’s in the confident mood he’s been in, the other players feed off that.
“We will see how the game pans out as to where Tommy is on the field but there’s every chance he will play a similar role to Townsville and bob up wherever on the field.
“All you want out of Latrell is to be involved in the game. Because, if he is, your side has a better chance of winning. Every time Latrell touches the ball, something seems to happen.”
NSW halfback Nathan Cleary said last week Trbojevic was rugby league’s premier player.
Seek-and-destroy mission: Picture: Adam HeadSource:DailyTelegraph
“I think Turbo is definitely the best at the moment, just the influence he has on the Manly team. And then you saw the influence he had on our team in Origin I,” Cleary said. “It’s ridiculous.
“I haven’t seen too many players like him. Just his feel for the game as well – it’s the best I have ever seen. You watch him every week and just wait for him to have a quiet game but it just doesn’t happen.”
Trbojevic has claimed 22 per cent of the money to be the TAB’s first try scorer. Blues hooker Damien Cook has 19 per cent of the market with Mitchell next on 13 per cent.
Mitchell is paying $13 to be crowned man of the match with Trbojevic the second favourite at $6.50 behind halfback Nathan Cleary ($4.50).
Queensland has drifted from $2.90 out to $4.30 for Sunday evening’s game with NSW tightening from $1.40 into $1.22.
Originally published asCentres behind seek-and-destroy mission to sink Maroons
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