Origin 3 gets underway on Wednesday, with kick off at 10 NZ time.
History beckons for Fittler’s Blues. As they are just 80 minutes away from being the first Origin side since Queensland’s 2010 team to win the series 3-0.
Before that, it was the dawn of the new millennium, 200, where New South Wales emphatically stamped their mark.
It would be a remarkable feat for New South Wales to win the series 3-0, and hoist the shield in front of the sorrows of Queensland.
And it’s on the cards too. The Queenslanders suffering two major injury blows with Captain Greg Inglis, and wonderboy Kayln Ponga both missing.
This game three fixture also marks the end of Billy Slater’s illustrious Origin career. It seems fitting he gets to wear the captains arm band for this match too.
Who could forget his remarkable chip and chase effort to score in 2004, or his incredible try saving effort on Anthony Watmough in 2010.
Slater’s recent Origin efforts have been hampered by injury, and it is time for him to call it quits.
His Queensland team mates owe it to him to deliver a win, despite the series over.
Queensland love a good farewell. They did it for Wally Lewis in 1991, Darren Lockyer in 2011, and Justin Hodges in 2015.
The Blues will have their say, though. Neither side has truly lived up to their hype or expectations this series, and that might have a lot to do with a new era of Origin.
New South Wales have been winning the big moments this series, and like Queensland for the past 14 years, that is what wins these games.
If I am Kevin Walters, I am asking my forwards to dominate for 80 minutes.
They have been strong early on, but have lacked the go forward that they truly desire to get on the front foot.
Arrow, Papalii, Wallace, and Glasby have to do better. They are strong ball runners in their own right, but they haven’t risen to the pace of the Origin arena.
And if I am Brad Fittler, I am asking more of the same from my halves.
The game management displayed by James Maloney has been undeniable, and there’s plenty of talent in the boots of Nathan Cleary for him to really have his say.
There’s no such thing as a dead rubber in Origin. I am a firm believer of that. New South Wales, despite locking the series up in game two, will believe it’s not done right until they’ve won at Suncorp Stadium on Wednesday.
Queensland, despite their injury concerns, have to be better. Simple as that. They’ve lacked the intensity we’re so used to them seeing.
A lot rides on the shoulders of Daly Cherry-Evans, too. Wouldn’t want to wake up as him on Thursday after a series loss.
New South Wales to replicate what their side did in 2000. A win. A 3-0 Series win.
30-12 final score. Damien Cook first try scorer.
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