The fact is, New South Wales haven’t won a game three decider since 2005.
On that day, Danny Buderus lofted the shield high in front of 52,436 fans at Suncorp Stadium.
That was the last time New South Wales held it until 2014. It was nine long, painful years for the state and its fans.
So when it comes to this game three decider? There’s everything to play for.
Queensland’s reputation is at stake. After losing last years’ series 2-1, and being absolutely belted in Perth for game two, the Cane Toads will come in to this Sydney clash with plenty of ammunition.
Coach Kevin Walters took aim not an hour after that match, where he claimed the kick off pissed him off, and everything that followed was awful.
The pressure had eased off Brad Fittler, whose seven changes after their loss in Brisbane left plenty breathless, and asking lots of questions.
The job was done emphatically. Queensland suffered their second biggest loss in Origin history.
I’d like to say that I’ve been an avid watcher of Origin since I was a child, and I don’t recall a series quite like this one.
There’s been what I can only claim as the biggest injury toll ever. The Blues have had three different halves pairings for the three matches, and a number of injuries to their forward pack.
Queensland’s had their fair share of injuries in the forwards, and now their halves have changed for this third installment.
I guess that’s what makes this game so exciting, is that the door really is open for anything to happen – and on this stage, that’s exactly what we’re all ready for.
The Blues side will be steaming with confidence after their game two display, and then having the series decider on home soil.
James Tedesco has to win the Wally Lewis medal for his devastating form. He’s exactly what the Cockroaches have needed in the one jersey.
The backline is speed central. We all know what Tom Trbojevic is capable of in space, as well as Addo-Carr, and Ferguson.
Then you best believe the redemption narrative of Mitchell Pearce.
I didn’t think I’d see the day where this man would be back in blue, but he’s probably been the form half of the National Rugby league this year, and deserves his chance to shine for his state.
Paired with James Maloney, that’s going to be deadly on their day if things go their way.
Damien Cook hasn’t run like a rabbit as we’d all think he would, so if conditions suit, he will have his boots ready.
The forward pack has been the force behind this New South Wales side. Rarely taking a step back on offence and defense, they will yet again provide an effective platform to work off.
Queensland responds best when they’re under pressure. We’ve all seen them defy the odds for years at the hands of the Blues, and that’s why you can never, ever, write off the Maroons.
Munster’s done wonders in the one jersey many times in his career, and he gets to do his part from the back in game three. He’s one of the best ball runners and game organisers, and having him at the back will be a massive boost.
Oates and Gagai know exactly how to score a try, which makes them so good. They love putting it on at representative level, and they’re needed the most here.
It’s also wonderful to see debutante Corey Norman get his shot. Robbed of a Daly M Player Of The Year in 2016, he’s been back to his best in the Red V in 2019.
There’s nothing to lose for Norman, which is such a strength. Play all your cards, and play them well.
Queensland’s loose forwards are the ones that can do some serious damage. Kaufusi, Gillett, and McGuire hold the key to unlocking the mongrel, something we’ve yet to see this series.
I’m not going to sell this game as potentially the greatest Origin matchup of all time, but what these 34 blokes are capable of is scary.
After game one, pressure went back on New South Wales.
After game two, pressure went back on Queensland.
So what’s game three got in store for us?
At home, New South Wales would absolutely love to win their second series in a row. There’s no doubt about it. The 80,000 fans at ANZ Stadium would love to see it too.
Queensland have ruined this party for many years, and they have a big chance to do it again.
I’m going to say that only four points will separate these sides. A New South Wales Blues win. 26-22 over their Queensland Maroons counterparts.
Follow Stephen Gallagher on Twitter