Big battles: the Origin match-ups that matter

BRAD WALTER
Last updated 16:09 23/05/2012
Greg Inglis
Getty Images
BIG BATTLES: Greg Inglis, pictured her in last years Origin, will battle it out with NSW's Josh Morris.

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Josh Morris v Greg Inglis

Morris is the NRL's form centre and the equal-second leading try scorer after crossing nine times in 10 matches for  Canterbury, but he will have his hands full marking up against Inglis, particularly after being switched to the right edge he is less accustomed to than his usual left centre role. In career best form for South Sydney this season, Inglis has left no doubt that he is one of the best players on the planet but he has been playing fullback since round three and should have less room to move in the centres.

Todd Carney v Johnathan Thurston

Off-field issues denied Carney his Origin debut when he was at Canberra and Sydney Roosters, but the 26-year-old Cronulla five-eighth finally gets his chance tonight and if he performs at his best NSW will go close to winning. However, Carney faces his biggest test yet against Thurston, the winner of the 2011 Golden Boot award as the world's best player. After a slow start to the season for North Queensland, Thurston has now adjusted to his switch to five-eighth and will be the man calling the shots for the Maroons.

Robbie Farah v Cameron Smith

If it wasn't for Smith, Farah would probably be regarded as the prototype modern hooker - clever, skilful, a dangerous runner out of dummy half and possessing a good kicking game. However, Smith is arguably the best player to wear the No 9 jersey and Farah will have to be at his best to match the Queensland captain. A virus that has plagued Smith leading up to the match may be a factor.

Tony Williams v Dave Taylor

Williams hasn't played for 10 weeks due to suspension, but NSW coach Ricky Stuart had no hesitation picking the giant Manly forward on the bench as he is a genuine game breaker. After being sidelined since round three because of the seven-game ban, Williams, pictured, will be raring to go - but his match fitness must be a concern. In Williams's absence, Taylor played for Australia as an interchange forward in last month's Anzac Test and he has been in devastating form for South Sydney this season.

- Sydney Morning Herald

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