State of Origin Game 3
Queensland Vs New South Wales
12 July 2017, 8pm.
The changing of the Queensland guard vs an unchanged NSW team to close off a great origin series, who wins? Let’s have a look.
Queensland Maroons, 1-0-1
Let’s start with a crazy statistic, this series Qld has used the most players ever in Origin history, with 26 Men. Including two debutants in this series decider, C. Munster (no.6) and B. Hunt (bench) they are showing a huge amount of faith in these two players. Qld have united Melbourne Storm’s Spine to sure up the loss of J. Thurston and get some continuity for their play making ability. Is this a master stroke or two much pressure? Time will tell.
The Qld forwards in game two lifted and really shut down the middle domination of NSW in game 1. It’s no secret that this again will be the focus of both teams and Qld will have the confidence to come out and “do their job” again. C. Smith has also said, “I want to contribute more” which is a scary thought for NSW fans, in his 42nd origin for Qld.
To add more emotion to their camp is strong belief that C. Cronk will be retiring from Origin football so this will be a major motivation for the Qld camp. History also leans towards a Qld victory with the last three deciders at Suncorp have been won by Qld.
Qld Be Alert:
With the potential for a late change or two to the starting NSW team, this will greatly change their dynamics. Little rumours that Klemmer will start, allowing Game 1 hero A. Fifita to come on against tired bodies is growing louder. Also inspirational NSW captain may not play or at reduced minutes, allowing W. Graham to get more time and potentially exposing Qld Right edge.
For us, the changing of the guard is almost complete and Qld still look immensely strong. With all the changes and adversity thrown their way, they always find away to turn up.
If Qld can weather the early storm and be with in a try or lead by a try in the last 10 minutes, the mental scared Blues will fall apart again.
New South Wales Blues, 1-0-1
This is the first unchanged team for an entire series for NSW since 1996 and it’s a sign for the future. However it’s not a fully healthy team, with 4 players under injury clouds, B. Cordner, J. Tedesco, J. Dugan and T. Frizell have led to the late inclusion into camp of T. Trbojevic and D. Finucane. If they play or not we won’t know until closer to game time, but it’s a slight twist to this series, which again changes the dynamics of the NSW team.
What we see though is finally some consistency in the NSW Spine, with M. Pearce, J. Maloney, N. Peats and J. Tedesco. They seem to be clicking very well as a unit and the combinations again will need to be at their best for NSW to win this game. As it always seems to be the way, M. Pearce is under all the pressure again, we are excepting J. Maloney to really help his half partner this game and therefor releasing Pearce to allow him to rise to the occasion.
J. Hayne has also received massive criticism for his second half in game 2. We will be intrigued to see his response and his match up with W. Chambers where the game could be won or loss again.
NSW Be Alert:
Qld on paper are the weakest team they have had in the last 12 years. However disregard this team at your own peril, with still 3 immortals (Smith, Cronk and Slater) in their team and the young forwards high on confidence after containing the NSW forward pack, complacency will lose you the series.
For us, NSW has to start well and not relent. Game 2 was theirs to win, however “shutting up shop” hasn’t worked in the Origin arena ever. It was a lesson that NSW will have burnt into their game style for this decider, keep the pedal to the metal.
Looks like the Football Gods are giving us the perfect conditions for football, clear night and temperatures between 14-12*c
Team News (final team lists released an hour before game time)
With injuries to D. Boyd and J. Thurston, M. Morgan and C. Munster have been named as replacements, allowing B. Hunt to become the utility player.
Unchanged currently, but we expecting Klemmer to Start and Fifita to come of the bench. With still a slight chance B. Cordner won’t play, we expect W. Graham to start and J. D-Belin to come onto the bench.
What we take from this?
It has been built up by channel 9 and some media outlets, that this is the most anticipated game Ever in Origin history. We tend to disagree, with Qld in a stage of transition and ravaged by injures, it is really NSW under all the pressure, to get a series win.
For us the faster track suits the NSW forward pack, game two highlighted this, where the slipperier conditions allowed Qld to “close the gate” better in the middle. We also worry about Qld kicking options, game 1 was two dimensional in Cronk and Smith, game 2 with Thurston it allowed the pressure to be moved and they were much more effective. If NSW are winning the middle, Smith will be less likely to kick, forcing Cronk again to work his magic.
We can’t wait for the centre battles on both sides, the game could change on a dime if either of those four players get any dominance on their opposite number.
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