All the action from State of Origin I between New South Wales and Queensland.

Daily Post sports reporter David Beck has run his eye over some of the key match-ups.

The flying fullbacks: James Tedesco v Kalyn Ponga

I would pay the price of admission just to see these two play. Both blessed with blistering pace, electric footwork and the knack of popping up in the right place at the right time, they are two bona fide game-breakers.

Who can forget last year's series when Ponga, limited to a cameo off the bench in game three, broke through and looked destined to score before Tedesco raced across to tackle him inches from the tryline It stopped what seemed a certain try and was arguably the moment which clinched the series for New South Wales.


This year, with Billy Slater retired, Ponga gets the starting fullback spot which means we get to watch these two stars go head-to-head for a full series.

Ponga started this season in the halves for the Newcastle Knights, in what is largely considered a failed experiment, but since moving back to the fullback he has been at his attacking best and it is no coincidence the Knights have won five in a row.

It is hard to split them but I'm tipping Tedesco to make the most of his superior experience and have the better series.

The ball-running five eighths: Cameron Munster v Cody Walker

These two are at the height of the powers in the NRL and it is no surprise to see Munster's Storm and Walker's Rabbitohs near the top of the table on the back of their efforts.

While both are more than capable of putting boot to ball effectively, it is their running games which sets them ahead of the rest.

Walker has been nothing short of unstoppable this season and is one of the game's best support players. He is an eyes-up footy player who throws structure out the window and plays what he sees. Walker is the NRL's leading try scorer with 11 and his combination with Rabbitohs hooker Damien Cook will be a major asset for the Blues.

Munster plays in one of the most structured teams in the NRL, the Melbourne Storm, but everything good about their play comes on the back of his free-flowing attack. He has been groomed for Origin for a number of years now - he was even in the conversation to be named captain this year but was pipped by Daly Cherry-Evans.

I expect Munster to have the better series over the debutant Walker but not by much.


The man mountains on the bench: Payne Haas v David Fifita

What happens when an unstoppable force meets an immovable object? If these two find each other on the field during State of Origin we might just find out.

Both Broncos 19 year olds, both monstrous forwards, and both likely to be used off the bench. These two have a lot in common.

According to, Payne Haas stands at a monstrous 194cm and weighs in at 119kg. He has a massive motor, playing close to 80 minutes in many of his NRL games this season, and averages 63 post contact metres per game.

Fifita is 186cm, 107kg and is every bit as damaging as Haas. He made an unexpected jump to the ranks of NRL player last year and showed he belonged in his stints on the field.

I'm backing Haas to have the greater impact off the bench throughout the series.