Sydney’s light rain could lead to a more expansive style of play in Wednesday night’s Origin opener, according to the interstate series’ most successful coach.
Mal Meninga, who led Queensland to seven wins from 13 games at ANZ Stadium between 2006 and 2015, believes the forecast of light rain in western Sydney could lead to an even more open game.
“I reckon ANZ Stadium in the wet, the ground is a lot better and the ball is less slippery because there’s no dew on it,” Meninga told Triple M’s Grill Team.
“The actual rain takes the dew off it. So there’s actually going to be really good handling.”
Origin matches at ANZ Stadium are renowned for being dour affairs, with an average of just 21.2 points per game in interstate clashes at the venue over the past five series.
In comparison, games at Suncorp have produced almost double the scoreline over the same period, with an average of 39.57.
As a result, the size and power of each side’s respective forward pack has often played defining role at matches played in Sydney – as is also often the case in wet games.
It is where the Blues have a slight advantage, their overall pack weighing in 22kg heavier than their Queensland opponents.
Interestingly, the Maroons starting pack is 1.3kg heaving per player, but the Blues’ three props on the bench weigh an extra 10kg more than Queensland’s three interchange forwards.
“(NSW) have certainly got a side to play in the wet,” Meninga said.
“If the pack from the NSW side gets on top, Queensland is going to find it very difficult.”
“But on the other side, if the big Blues forwards don’t control the Maroons forwards, they could be in trouble.”