Who will win Origin III and why
STATE OF ORIGIN GAME THREE IN A NUTSHELL
Five reasons why NSW will whitewash Queensland for the first time since 2000:
1. BELIEF: After finally snapping Queensland’s Origin nine-year dominance in game two, having already won game one in Brisbane, the Blues believe they know how to beat the Maroons.
2. QUEENSLAND WOES: For years off-field dramas have been the domain of NSW players, but Will Chambers’ alleged involvement in a bar-room incident gave the Queensland camp a taste of turmoil.
3. LAURIE DALEY: Had the knack of putting one over Meninga during Origin in his playing days including victory in his former Canberra teammate’s farewell game in 1994 and now, with added steel this season, he’s the first Blues coach to beat him in Origin.
4. COOPER CRONK’S ARM: Broke his arm in game one but has recovered remarkably quickly to be back for game three. The Blues are almost certain to target the halfback just as they did the bandaged Daly Cherry-Evans in game two.
5. JARRYD HAYNE: The best player in the NRL at the moment and the man who’s emerged as the heartbeat of this team at fullback following his heroics in games one and two.
Five reasons why Queensland will beat NSW:
1. SIEGE MENTALITY: Thriving in adversity is part of a Queenslander’s DNA. The Will Chambers incident will be seen as something to bring the team together rather than disrupt. Cancelling media sessions is a sign they are circling the wagons.
2. SUNCORP STADIUM: The Maroons were a fingertip away from winning game one having been on the back foot until the last 15 minutes. They have only lost once at home in five years prior to that defeat and a passionate home crowd will be at its loudest to avoid a clean sweep.
3. PRIDE: Defeat is something completely alien to most of this star-studded side and their pride was wounded by the 6-4 loss in Sydney. A 3-0 sweep with two defeats taking place in Brisbane is unthinkable.
4. HISTORY: NSW have only won twice in Brisbane in the same year on two occasions since 1982 – the last time was 18 years ago.
5. MOMENTUM: Great sides never know when they are beaten and this Queensland team is arguably the best of all time. Despite the series being lost, they know a huge win over the Blues would dampen their celebrations and lay a marker for game one in 2015.