The Warriors Chad Townsend would not be out of place in the NSW number 6 jersey for the remaining State of Origin games.

He has everything they are looking for, a good kicking game, solid defence, backs up, can make a break and is brave.

With Mitchell Pearce as halfback, those two would be better balanced than what NSW had in game 1 with Hodkinson at number 7 and Pearce wearing 6.

I've been very impressed with how Townsend has grown as a player and in my view; he is ready for the next step. He'd also provide that confident unpredictability and spark that was missing for NSW last Wednesday.


To be fair, even though they won, Queensland was also guilty of telegraphing their intentions at times, but that will not be the case in game 2 in Melbourne.

But Chad Townsend is strong on his feet and can deliver a perfectly timed pass which is very important in an Origin game. My instinct tells me he is a big game player. And now, only two wins behind the competition leaders, the Warriors, sitting on 14 points are in a strong position to make a charge.

And even though it was a scrappy win against the Knights, the Warriors are on a roll. But the true bench mark will be against the Rabbitohs next week then Roosters in the following game.

I think the Warriors will roll both of these sides. But it is critical that Ben Matulino stamps his mark all over these games, because both teams tend to play a bit of bully ball and Matulino needs to control this.

Against the Knights, who looked like a side way below their best, the Warriors did what they needed to do to win, but coach Andrew McFadden will have a few strong questions he'll need answering at the next team meeting.

What was a worrying concern for me was the predictability of the Warriors play, and that's what kept the Knights in it.

When a team telegraphs their intentions, quite simply, they are too easy to defend against. And that was the case yesterday, although they were always in charge, the Warriors were just too easy to read.

But in saying that, it's also a good sign to be able to play below your best and still deserve the win.


But sitting watching it I couldn't help but cast my mind ahead to next year when Issac Luke and Roger Tuivasa-Sheck will be in the Warriors line up.

No player in the NRL controls the ruck any better than what Luke does and Tuivasa-Sheck will not wait until he is invited into a set play, he will be on the hunt.

And that's all that was missing yesterday, someone on the hunt.

It was if both teams were playing to a very similar plan and because of this, it became a waiting game.

McFadden will be well aware that this 'wait and see' approach will invite trouble against South Sydney so the Warriors will need to play on the front foot.