LEAGUE great Danny Buderus backs fellow Manning product Boyd Cordner to guide NSW to State of Origin glory over Queensland in the second match of the series at ANZ Stadium next Wednesday night.
Taree born Buderus captained NSW in 15 of his 21 matches. This included series wins in 2004 and 2005. Cordner, 25, from Old Bar, led NSW to a comprehensive 28-4 win over Queensland in the opening game at Brisbane. He’ll lead an unchanged Blues side into the second match in Sydney.
“Momentum is going our way,’’ Buderus said yesterday.
“Game two is usually the toughest game of the series because the result is really on the line. On what will be a dewy surface I think this will be a really tight contest and a high quality one as well.’’
Buderus said Cordner is a natural captain who leads by example.
“He’s just 25 and leading his State and that’s outstanding,’’ the former test rake said.
“Boyd’s playing great football and the team’s right behind him.’’
Buderus has no doubt that Cordner will handle the pressure next week as the Blues look to clinch just the second series win since he lifted the trophy back in 2005.
However, he warned that this will be a desperate Queensland side determined to draw level. He added it’s a better balanced team while the return of Billy Slater and Johnathon Thurston spell obvious dangers for NSW.
“I think the coach got his way with this team – he wants to keep his job,’’ he said.
“This is a faster Queensland side and any team that has Billy in it is going to be a lot stronger – it was crazy that they left him out of game one.’’
Buderus added there’s more strike power on the Queensland bench – something the Maroons lacked in the first match.
He said NSW won the opening encounter through the ascendancy gained by the forwards.
Buderus believes NSW still holds the edge up the middle and this is where they can clinch the game and the series.
"Andrew Fifita’s in great form – he’s a unique player and the length of his stride that makes him hard to tackle,’’ Buderus said.
However, he added halfback Mitchell Pearce will have to play a dominant role.
“He’s pulling the strings,’’ he explained.
Buderus added that he’s proud to see a fellow son of the Manning captaining the Blues.
“It’s a big wrap for our little part of the world,’’ he said.
“I’m sure there’ll be a lot of clubs looking up there for talent, because we’ve shown what we can produce. It’s going to be a big night for Boyd and the team.
“One old bloke from back in the day is looking forward to seeing Boyd captain the Blues to a win.’’