Origin: Which players from both sides will decide the series

Josh Addo Carr 6
Josh Addo-Carr celebrates his 6 tries earlier in the season. (credit NRL twitter)

State of Origin is fast approaching, and with two teams as strong as New South Wales and Queensland, the match will be tight. Origin is about the biggest players standing up to each other and giving their all. In order to win, the best of the best need to stand up.

Here The Inner Sanctum takes you through 3 players from each side that will make an impact, including a debutant from each side that should make inroads.

New South Wales

Josh Addo-Carr

Addo-Carr has been a revelation for New South Wales since coming into the side in 2018, the Storm winger is the highest try scorer in the 2021 NRL season with 15. So far, the highlight of his season was the six tries he scored in Melbourne’s massive victory over the Rabbitohs.

Having played the full 80 minutes in 11 of 12 matches so far, his ability to stay in the park is remarkable. As the fastest player in the NRL, he offers extreme pace on the wing.

Addo-Carr managed 2 tries in Origin 2020 and was third in metres run with 443 from the three matches. Addo-Carr is one of the most likable players in the NRL and offers NSW an elite winger who will undoubtedly stamp his authority come Wednesday night.

Nathan Cleary

Penrith’s Co-Captain has had a massive year for the Panthers as the side went undefeated through the first 12 rounds of the season.

As the New South Wales halfback Cleary offers an all-around game that will provide the side’s backbone. A young man only 23 years of age, many have posited Cleary as being central to the NSW Origin side for the next decade.

Cleary is by far the highest point scorer in the NRL with 146, a massive 32 points ahead of next best Adam Reynolds. On top of a kicking percentage of 85% which, has been key to the Panthers dominance in 2021.

Having only played two matches in Origin 2020, Cleary managed 5 goals at 100% kicking accuracy.

Cleary is growing into his role as captain in Penrith and will want to bring that experience to NSW. As a future leader of the Origin side, 2021 should be a breakout year for Cleary.

Brian To’o

Having made his NRL debut in 2019, To’o is poised to make his NSW Origin debut in Townsville. Being of Samoan and Chinese descent, the winger has played one match for the Samoan national side and four games for the Samoan 9’s side.

As one of the 7 Panthers set to feature in Origin To’o will want to impress in what should be a comfortable environment. It has been a fantastic start to the 2021 NRL season for the rookie having had 2830 meters run. This is 900 more than the next best in the Panthers side and 450 more than the next best in the NRL.

To’o provides explosiveness to the NSW side and will likely play on the right-wing while Josh Addo-Carr takes the left. Addo-Carr has reportedly been helping To’o with his game since reaching the Origin camp.

To’o spoke on the help he has been receiving from his Origin teammates.

“Foxx has been tipping me up about little spacings, little things to work on.

“He’s pretty much the best winger in the game, and he’s always helping me out, making sure I’ve got all the boxes ticked.”

To’o is one of the most exciting prospects in the game, and if he performs well, he could very well cement his spot in the NSW side for the next decade.

NSW teammates Brian To’o and Josh Addo-Carr

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Queensland

Cameron Munster

Having now played nine origin matches debuting in 2017, Munster is one of Queensland’s more experienced heads. Munster having played for the Storm his entire career, knows what it is to win.

Seeing success, in Origin or for the Storm, every year since 2016. Munster has been suffering from a foot injury but is expected to be back to take the field on Wednesday.

Regarding his injury, seemed relieved he didn’t end up needing surgery.

“I did have scans on it to see if I needed to get surgery at all and if I did, I would probably have been out for 6-8 weeks.

Having played 9 NRL games in 2021, Munster has had a massive 1739 metres kicked to go along with 789 metres run and 6 try assists.

While it may take Munster some time to warm up, given his recent injury. The Storms five-eight should significantly impact the series. After winning the Wally Lewis medal in 2020, Munster will want to back this up with another impressive series.

Cameron Munster shows some unbelievable Origin skill

Valentine Holmes

As one of the NRL’s best and most exciting talents. Holmes offers the Queensland side a proven ability to stand up in the big games.

Holmes has played in 7 origin matches and has only failed to score in one match. He prides himself on being a big-time player and a big-time athlete.

Something he tried to show by going to the NFL in 2019. A move that was ultimately unsuccessful but gave him experience in playing in the largest football league in the world.

In the 2021 NRL season, Holmes has shown himself to be a class above his Cowboys teammates. At the Cowboys, Holmes is equal for minutes played and has 500 more metres run than any of his teammates.

During the 2020 Origin, Holmes also showed his immense skill, scoring a try and kicking four goals, getting Queensland over the line to win the series.

Apart from Daly Cherry-Evans, Holmes may well be Queensland most important player. He will be critical if Queensland is to win in 2021.

Kyle Feldt

At 29 years of age Feldt, will be one of Origins older debutants. Feldt was in line for an Origin debut in 2020 before an injury ruled him out.

However, 2021 is looking to be his year to pull on the Maroons jersey. Having played in the NRL since 2013, the Maroons set up should not have to worry about the nerves that come with younger debutants.

Feldt is also no stranger to the big stage, having played for the Cowboys 2015 premiership side. Feldt isn’t the most popular of players in that he doesn’t grab headlines like some of his Queensland teammates. Even for the Cowboys, Feldt is overshadowed by teammate Valentine Holmes.

For Queensland, Feldt will be a reliable and experienced man on the wing who will undoubtedly make an impact. Having scored four tries and over 1200 metres gained in the 2021 season.

Feldt will undoubtedly be reliable for Queensland and, hopefully, show some flashes of brilliance.

A flash of brilliance from debutant Kyle Feldt

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About Rory Denis 49 Articles
Rory writes on cricket, rugby league and Aussie Rules for The Inner Sanctum. His focus is cricket, with a focus on analysis recaps and commentary via Twitter. He has also featured on the Over and Stumps podcast on the inner sanctum network. Outside of the Inner Sanctum, he is a law student at the University of Canberra.

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