By Stephen Gallagher
New South Wales V Queensland – ANZ Stadium – 22.22NZT
With game three being a dead rubber, there’s probably quite a lot of gloss wiped away from this event.
Queensland have wrapped up the series, and the coaching transition from Mal Meninga to Kevin Walters has been seamless for the juggernauts of Origin.
The Blues are still suffering the same old problems. They’ve been competitive but not good enough. They cost themselves the series with a tight 6-4 loss at ANZ Stadium in game one, and the writing was on the wall as they traveled to Queensland.
I hope for Origin, and New South Wales sake that this isn’t a blowout, and a series whitewash.
WHERE TO FOR NEW SOUTH WALES?
They have a good squad, but I think the selection process has been warped by Daley. There are plenty of youngsters in the form of their life, and are worthy of the Blues jersey.
A win tonight for this series is pointless – but it might be a confidence boost, and a taste that these youngsters need to give it their all next season.
With the changing of the guard and a few Blues finishing their representative careers tonight, it should be a match that these guys can leave it all on the field.
WHAT TONIGHT MEANS FOR QUEENSLAND?
They are on the verge of the first series clean-sweep since 2010. They’ve already nailed their 10th title in 11 years.
If they can win tonight, it will show the utter dominance this team has had over their state counterparts.
Tonight also spells the end for a few QLD veterans, so they too will want to lift their hero’s high on the shoulders of victory.
WHAT TO EXPECT?
I think there will be a few Blues players that have been seriously unhappy over the last couple of series to come out and prove an absolute point.
Daley may not be there next year, and there are plenty of players who need to cement their positions for 2017.
The Queenslanders will have the upper hand due to having the series wrapped up – where they can go about their game with no pressure.
The game should be really physical – with the Cockroaches doing their bit to avoid a whitewash, and the Canetoads wanting to finish the series the way it started.
WHO TO KEEP AN EYE ON?
Debutante James Tedesco has ripped opposition teams up for years – and now he gets his chance to do so in a Origin jersey.
I expect everything from Tedesco. A few injuries has let him down throughout his career and this series – so I am looking forward to seeing his electric kick returns and confident attacking style take the Blues to a new level.
Wade Graham finally gets his crack. One of the guys who has been really good over the last few years gets his chance. There will be nerves but surrounded by plenty of team mates – he will soon find his feet.
Paul Gallen and Corey Parker – Both deserve to go out winners tonight. They are the epitome of Origin rugby league.
Players that have been through so much, and are warhorses on the field. They have the respect of their sides and are gentlemen off the field.
New South Wales have to get in quickly. A lot of ball in hand needs to transfer to points, which has been their downfall this series.
Queensland will hoist the shield at the end of tonight – but the Blues will save face by getting a win.
Blues by 6.
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