This third game of the 2020 State Of Origin series is what every fan wants. A decider.
In a replica of the 2019 series, Queensland win game one in a tight affair, New South Wales thrash their counterparts in the second, and then it all comes down to the decider.
This time, the decider will play strongly in favour of the Queenslanders, who will have a fully sold-out stadium of fans cheering their beloved Maroons on.
When the series is locked one game each, the majority of game three results go in the favour of Queensland, who have won seven of the last eight tie-breakers.
History and statistics favour the Canetoads highly, and I really believe it’s their game to lose.
It was clear that Munster going down in the second minute was a massive omission for the Queenslanders, as his direction and confidence really rub off on his teammates.
Having him back will be a big confidence boost, and his kicking game will go a long way to dictating the result.
It was similar to Cameron Murray only lasting three minutes in game one for New South Wales, where he would usually make an impact in the middle for Blues, they really lacked in that department.
New South Wales have stuck strongly with the seventeen that got the job done convincingly last week, and Queensland are naming two debutantes in Rooke Of The Year Harry Grant on the bench, and South Sydney sensation Corey Allan on the wing.
The Maroon’s biggest inclusion is Christian Welch, who was absent in game two, and that was very noticeable.
In cliche fashion, the first twenty minutes of this game will be a good indication of how this game will play out and who will win the series.
Queensland’s lack of direction needs to be rectified quickly. They played too much sideways football and it showed. They struggled to get out of their own half for the majority of the game, and it gave New South Wales massive confidence when they were starting every set around the halfway mark.
I think Josh Papalii will be the first person to say he hasn’t quite stamped his mark on the series like he’d have wanted to. So that’s a dangerous sign for the Blues to accommodate.
Arrow and Collins off the bench really need to play out of their skins. They were bullied around last week, and the taste in their mouth will be sour because of it. There’s definitely something to prove there.
And of course, everyone will have an eye on the Tino Fa’asuamaleaui and Payne Haas battle. What erupted in fists in game two will hopefully be settled in sheer grit and physical hits in game three.
The New South Wales bench was the pride of their victory in game two, and they will once again have to the difference this week to help the New South Wales side make it three Origin series victories in a row.
Isaah Yeo on debut was remarkable, and Nathan Brown really added a difference with his presence.
Angus Crichton hasn’t had the accolades he deserves, as his work on and off the ball has been strong.
New South Wales’ best forward is also their winger. Daniel Tupou’s work ethic has really changed the fortunes of the Cockroaches, and another strong game by the big Tongan will help their fortunes for sure.
As a Blues fan, I still believe it is Queensland’s game to lose. The state gets to reap the rewards of handling Covid-19 fantastically, and a sold-out stadium in a decider will be really daunting for this Blues side.
This game will really go down to the wire, just like last year, but I think it’ll be money man Munster who will be the difference and helping Queensland win a famous 13-12 victory.
Follow Stephen Gallagher on Twitter