Munster has been sidelined for a month with a foot injury, but after putting grand final celebrations to one side to lead Queensland to victory in 2020, he’s already proved he has what it takes to perform on the game’s biggest stage.
Speaking on his Wide World of Sports show Immortal Behaviour, Johns identified the Maroons five-eighth as the key to Queensland’s chances.
The opening State of Origin match from Townsville will be live on Nine from 7:00pm tonight.
“Munster terrifies me,” he said.
“Last year he got the player of the series and he played hungover the whole series.
“He’s an out and out rockstar, the bigger the occasion, the bigger the crowd, the more pressure, the better he goes, he just wants the ball in his hands.
Munster hasn’t played since the Storm thrashed Souths 50-0 in Round Nine, with his recovery proving slower than expected.
But according to Johns, that won’t be a problem when he takes the field in Townsville.
“People are going to say he’s been out for four or five weeks,” he explained.
“I see that as an advantage for Cameron, he goes in physically and mentally fresh.
“He’s the X-factor for Queensland.”
The opening game, which was set down for Melbourne, was shifted to Townsville in the aftermath of Victoria’s COVID-19 lockdown.
And that’s a move that Johns says will open up the game.
“It’s a fast surface up there, and there’s no dew on the surface, it’s like a bowling green this ground,” he explained.
“I think to win this game you’re going to have to score upwards of 20 to 24 points.
“I think it’s going to be high-scoring, a lot of ball movement, which then suits (James) Tedesco.”
The partnership between Tedesco at fullback and Tom Trbojevic in the centres is crucial to New South Wales starting the series with a win, according to Johns.
“For NSW, I think it’s Tedesco and Turbo, when they’re working together,” he said.
“We saw (that) in Perth when they played together and Turbo was roving around the field.
“Tedesco, I think he’ll have a big game.”
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