By Guest Writer Stephen Gallagher
Game three, the decider. The scripts in the first and second instalments were written beautifully. Is this the most anticipated State of Origin Game III match in history? For Queensland it means winning another chapter in to an already epic success story. Seven State of Origin titles in a row is what they’re gunning for. On home turf too. As for New South Wales, a win gives them a new, brighter era of football. Perhaps one year of many more to come. Wednesday can not come soon enough.
Who will immortalise themselves in Origin history with a game winning performance? Will Ben Te’o on debut steal the show with a perfect performance? Or will it be a dart out of dummy half by captain and rake Cameron Smith to break the game open and sway it in the Maroons favour? Can Mitchell Pearce’s name be written in lights like his father Wayne? Or will it be Tony ‘T-Rex’ Williams be the greatest dinosaur to ever play for the cockroaches?
Queensland will be in the comfort of their own home, a sea of maroon will cover the seats at a packed out Suncorp Stadium. What more motivation do they need than to look at Petero Civoniceva, who retires at the years end. A Queenslander through and through. A man weathered but humble. His legacy will long live on past his career, and what a greater moment than to be sent out as a seven time champion.
New South Wales will have the confidence after a great nail-biting win in game two. In unfamiliar territory, the public will not be kind. Yet the pressure I believe is still on them. Queensland have done it time and time again. When they look down and out they will come up with a stupendous play to win the game. That’s how the Canetoads do it. What have the Blues got to break this stunning streak set by the Maroons?
This is going to be the biggest game of the year. Both sides will lay it all on the line. Physically I expect it all from the crunching tackles to the big boppers running full force in to each other. Every player will give his all, and afterwards only those who are successful will be the ones left standing.
New South Wales will have to continue to pressure the halves which they’ve done incredibly well all series. This has what given the Cockroaches the edge of late, is there pressure. If Thurston or Cronk get too much time with ball in hand that is when the game can sway. These two are dynamic and can create something out of nothing. Greg Bird will again be given the task to shut these two blokes down.
Queensland with a bit of a backline shuffle will feel slight pressure – but this is the big time, where the big stars shine the brightest. They know the recipe for success as they’ve cooked that meal for six straight years and would love to make it seven.
For me, I think New South Wales will have to take risks, and in risk comes reward. The Canetoads are side that can defend nearly anything – so it’s when there’s players running to the line looking for an offload or a dummy and go from a Cockroach that can break the game open. Expect the unexpected. I assure you though that this game will have it all. Guts, physicality, blood, emotion, passion. Origin.
I am going to put all my faith in the Blues once again, and I really do believe that this is the year they can pull it off and start a new era. This is going to be a battle that is nail biting and so intense that it will have everyone on the edge of their seats for the entire 80 minutes. The Blues to get up 22-18.
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