The Gold Coast Bulletin
Maroons sweat on trio
Queensland stars to miss Magic Round but Green hopeful for Origin
MAROONS coach Paul Green remains hopeful star Queenslanders Cameron Munster, Harry Grant and Kalyn Ponga will be fit for Origin 1 after the trio were ruled out of the Magic Round with injury.
Less than a month out from the Origin series opener, the Maroons have been hit by a number of key injuries as well as a two-week suspension for barnstorming back-rower
David Fifita. Ponga was on Thursday ruled out for at least a fortnight after suffering a groin injury during the week, while Munster (foot) and
Grant (hamstring) have also been sidelined in the lead up to the June 9 Origin 1 clash.
However, the setback hasn’t caused too much alarm for the new Queensland coach who admitted his plans remained flexible to cope with any unexpected outcomes.
“You don’t want to be too fixed,” Green said when asked if he had settled on his starting 17.
“We’ve still got a little bit of footy to be played.
“Already this week Ponga, Harry Grant and Cameron Munster are out so you don’t want to be too set because things can change pretty quickly.
“I’m reasonably happy with where we’re at. Hopefully those guys can recover, which I’m sure they will.”
Green said he wasn’t aware of the extent of each player’s injury but was planning to keep a close eye on their progress over the coming weeks.
“I’m not inside the clubs so I don’t know too much about their injuries, other than they won’t be playing for the next week or so,” he said.
“By all reports, they should be OK.
“As I said, you can’t get too fixed too early because you’re plans can go out the window.
“We’ll just keep an eye on the next couple of weeks.”
Queensland are bracing for some tough competition this year with the likes of James
Tedesco, Ryan Papenhuyzen and Tom Trbojevic in the frame for Blues selection.
However, Green said the experience of last year’s heroics would put the Maroons in good stead.
“The fact that so many guys did debut last year probably means there will be less guys to debut this year,” he said.
“That’s the benefit of last year – those guys got some experience and a taste of what Origin is all about.”