The stats suggest that the Maroons are major underdogs in the final match and in severe danger of losing the series 3-0.
However, only a fool writes off the Queenslanders.
More Origin 3
» GORE: Queensland prove every single Origin match matters
» Who rose to the occasion for the Maroons? All Queensland players rated
» Every New South Wales player’s Game 3 effort rated
» Seven talking points from Origin 3
» WATCH: Complete match highlights from Billy Slater’s triumphant farewell
State of Origin is all about hating your opponent and striving to stop them getting what they want. The Blues desperately want to pants their opponents, who have so ruthlessly owned then over the past decade.
The Maroons want to stop the Blues just as desperately.
There is no such thing as a dead rubber in State of Origin.
There have been 22 Origin Game 3s held in Brisbane, with Queensland winning 14, losing seven and drawing one. That’s a 63.6 per cent rate of victory.
Of those games, 12 were dead rubbers, of which the Maroons won seven (58.33 per cent). Three of the times that they lost Game 3 at home, they had already won the series.
Queensland staved off a whitewash by winning the last game at home in 1990, 1993, 2003 and 2014. However, in 1986 and 1996, they lost the game and the series 3-0. Those are the only two times that the Maroons suffered a whitewash.
(Note: I do not include any 1997 games in these stats due to the Super League-ARL fiasco.)
Age, weight and minutes in the legs = NSW, just
|James Tedesco||25||80||96||Billy Slater||35||80||89|
|Tom Trbojevic||21||80||102||Valentine Holmes||22||80||85|
|James Roberts||25||79.1||93||Dane Gagai||27||80||91|
|Latrell Mitchell||21||78.6||104||Will Chambers||30||80||100|
|Josh Addo-Carr||22||79.7||86||Corey Oates||23||75.9||106|
|James Maloney||32||80||83||Cameron Munster||23||80||89|
|Nathan Cleary||20||72||92||Daly Cherry-Evans||29||80.6||84|
|Paul Vaughan||27||51.1||110||Jai Arrow||22||56||101|
|Damien Cook||27||79.3||86||Andrew McCullough||28||75||90|
|David Klemmer||24||54.8||116||Josh Papalii||26||66.5||110|
|Tyson Frizell||26||74.4||108||Gavin Cooper||32||80||108|
|Boyd Cordner||26||76.1||102||Felise Kaufusi||26||78.3||112|
|Jack de Belin||27||56.8||107||Josh McGuire||28||63.6||106|
|Jake Trbojevic||24||76.8||107||Ben Hunt||28||77.2||87|
|Angus Crichton||22||79.8||102||Jarrod Wallace||26||46.7||108|
|Tariq Sims||28||76.5||105||Coen Hess||21||75.4||110|
|Tyrone Peachey||26||71.5||93||Tim Glasby||29||42.5||106|
|Forwards||25.7 / 231||69.5 / 625.6||104.75 / 838||Forwards||26.4 / 238||64.9 / 584||105.6 / 951|
|Backs||24 / 192||77.6 / 621||93.6 / 749||Backs||27.1 / 217||79.2 / 634||91.4 / 731|
While the comparative weights of the two sides are virtually even, the New South Welshmen are almost two years younger than their opponents on average.
Jimmy Maloney is the only Cockroach who is over 30 years old. Conversely, the Maroons have three old men in their side, the oldest of who is 35-year-old Billy Slater, who is bowing out following this match.
Further, NSW have almost 30 minutes more in their legs.
Runs and metres = NSW by a length
|James Tedesco||15.5||170.0||Billy Slater||11.4||95|
|Tom Trbojevic||14.1||140.0||Valentine Holmes||10.9||118|
|James Roberts||8.6||78.0||Dane Gagai||13.3||113|
|Latrell Mitchell||6.8||74.0||Will Chambers||11.2||94|
|Josh Addo-Carr||10.6||116.0||Corey Oates||13.2||145|
|James Maloney||5.3||54.0||Cameron Munster||9.8||86|
|Nathan Cleary||7.8||59.0||Daly Cherry-Evans||5.6||53|
|Paul Vaughan||13.4||126.0||Jai Arrow||15.5||141|
|Damien Cook||7.5||94.0||Andrew McCullough||4.5||41|
|David Klemmer||17.8||169.0||Josh Papalii||13.3||119|
|Tyson Frizell||10.2||96.0||Gavin Cooper||9.1||67|
|Boyd Cordner||12.4||108.0||Felise Kaufusi||7.7||66|
|Jack de Belin||10.8||93.0||Josh McGuire||13.3||122|
|Jake Trbojevic||13.4||117.0||Ben Hunt||4.1||35|
|Angus Crichton||15.3||119.0||Jarrod Wallace||12.8||108|
|Tariq Sims||12.7||110.0||Coen Hess||11.8||92|
|Tyrone Peachey||10.8||101.0||Tim Glasby||8.9||74|
|Forwards||12.6 / 113.5||114.7 / 1032||Forwards||10.7 / 96.9||92.2 / 830|
|Backs||9.9 / 79.5||99 / 792||Backs||9.9 / 79.5||92.4 / 739|
Gee, these are telling stats.
255 metres is a lot of difference in the average metres comparison. The Blues have ten of their squad who average over 100 metres a game, while Queensland have just seven. The lack of metres in backrowers Gavin Cooper and Felise Kaufusi is a particular concern.
NSW also have 13 extra runs a game overall – a clear advantage.
Excepting the hookers, the Blues have no forwards who average fewer than ten runs a game. The Maroons have three: Tim Glasby, Cooper and Kaufusi.
Tackling = even
|NSW||Tackles||Missed Tackles||QLD||Tackles||Missed Tackles|
|James Tedesco||5.8||0.6||Billy Slater||4||1.1|
|Tom Trbojevic||4.7||1.3||Valentine Holmes||2.6||1.6|
|James Roberts||12||1.2||Dane Gagai||14.9||3|
|Latrell Mitchell||8.8||1.4||Will Chambers||12.7||3|
|Josh Addo-Carr||4||0.7||Corey Oates||3.7||0.8|
|James Maloney||11||5.8||Cameron Munster||16.8||2.3|
|Nathan Cleary||13.2||0.6||Daly Cherry-Evans||16.8||2.2|
|Paul Vaughan||22.8||1||Jai Arrow||27.6||1.6|
|Damien Cook||38.8||2.2||Andrew McCullough||40.4||0.7|
|David Klemmer||20.6||1.3||Josh Papalii||23.2||1.3|
|Tyson Frizell||24.5||1.3||Gavin Cooper||26.3||2.2|
|Boyd Cordner||26.5||1.6||Felise Kaufusi||29||1.3|
|Jack de Belin||26.5||1||Josh McGuire||27.3||1.9|
|Jake Trbojevic||37.7||1.5||Ben Hunt||15.8||3.8|
|Angus Crichton||32||2.2||Jarrod Wallace||23.2||1|
|Tariq Sims||20.6||1.4||Coen Hess||31.3||1.7|
|Tyrone Peachey||12.8||2.1||Tim Glasby||22.6||1.4|
|Forwards||27.8 / 250||13.5||Forwards||27.9 / 251||13.1|
|Backs||9 / 72.3||13.7||Backs||10.9 / 87.3||17.8|
The Maroons have the Blues covered when it comes to tacklingm, with 16 extra tackles in them. However, NSW miss nearly four fewer tackles.
Just look at Maloney’s 5.8 misses and Ben Hunt’s 3.8. They’ll be definite targets again, while Daly Cherry-Evans and Cam Munster will also draw some attention.
There is no getting away from Queensland’s backline’s missed tackle count.
Breaking and scoring = NSW
|NSW||Tackle breaks||Line breaks||Try assists||Tries||Queensland||Tackle breaks||Line breaks||Try assists||Tries|
|James Tedesco||4.8||0.9||0.6||4||Billy Slater||2.9||0.4||0.8||4|
|Tom Trbojevic||4.5||0.9||1||2||Valentine Holmes||2.1||0.7||0.1||12|
|James Roberts||3.4||0.5||0.5||6||Dane Gagai||3.1||0.2||0.3||1|
|Latrell Mitchell||4||0.7||0.2||6||Will Chambers||1.6||0.3||0.1||2|
|Josh Addo-Carr||4||1||0.2||14||Corey Oates||3.5||1||0.1||8|
|James Maloney||1.6||0.2||0.8||2||Cameron Munster||2.7||0.3||0.8||2|
|Nathan Cleary||2.6||0.4||0.8||1||Daly Cherry-Evans||2.4||0.3||0.4||4|
|Paul Vaughan||1.4||0.1||0||2||Jai Arrow||1.9||0.3||0||3|
|Damien Cook||3.4||0.8||0.3||3||Andrew McCullough||0.7||0.2||0.3||2|
|David Klemmer||1.3||0||0.1||0||Josh Papalii||2.1||0.3||0.2||3|
|Tyson Frizell||1.3||0.1||0||4||Gavin Cooper||0.4||0.4||0||5|
|Boyd Cordner||1.1||0.1||0.1||1||Felise Kaufusi||0.4||0.3||0.1||3|
|Jack de Belin||2.1||0.3||0||3||Josh McGuire||1.6||0||0||0|
|Jake Trbojevic||0.9||0.3||0.1||4||Ben Hunt||2.8||0.3||0.8||3|
|Angus Crichton||2.3||0.3||0.1||2||Jarrod Wallace||0.8||0.1||0||2|
|Tariq Sims||2.9||0.4||0||5||Coen Hess||2.8||0.5||0||4|
|Tyrone Peachey||3.4||0.3||0.3||6||Tim Glasby||0.8||0.1||0.1||1|
|Forwards||1.8 / 16.7||2.4||0.7||23||Forwards||11.5||2.2||0.7||23|
|Backs||3.5 / 28.3||4.9||4.4||41||Backs||21.1||3.5||3.4||36|
While the Blues’ advantage in line breaks, try assists and tries is only slight, their advantage in tackle breaks is huge: 12.4.
While we saw above that the Queenslanders have a higher tackling capacity, they also miss more. NSW’s ability to break the tackle could well be the significant stat.
Tyrone Peachey and James Roberts are the worst tackle breakers in the NSW back five and they boast 6.8 between them. The Maroons’ two best tackle breakers – Corey Oates and Dane Gagai – have 6.6 between them.
Mix the Blues’ backlines ability to break tackles with the Maroons’ backs’ ability to miss them and we could see a score blow out.
Foulers and fumblers = Queensland
|NSW||Penalties||Errors||Sin Bins||QLD||Penalties||Errors||Sin Bins|
|James Tedesco||0.2||1.8||0||Billy Slater||0.1||0.9||0|
|Tom Trbojevic||0||1.5||0||Valentine Holmes||0.1||0.9||0|
|James Roberts||0.5||0.4||1||Dane Gagai||0.3||1.2||0|
|Latrell Mitchell||1.1||1.2||2||Will Chambers||0.6||1.4||0|
|Josh Addo-Carr||0.3||1.1||1||Corey Oates||0.1||1.1||0|
|James Maloney||0.7||1.7||0||Cameron Munster||1.1||0.8||0|
|Nathan Cleary||0.6||1.2||0||Daly Cherry-Evans||0.8||1.4||0|
|Paul Vaughan||0.5||0.3||0||Jai Arrow||0.5||0.2||0|
|Damien Cook||0.8||1||0||Andrew McCullough||0.7||0.4||0|
|David Klemmer||0.5||0.3||1||Josh Papalii||0.6||0.5||0|
|Tyson Frizell||0.8||0.5||0||Gavin Cooper||0.3||0.8||0|
|Boyd Cordner||0.3||0.5||0||Felise Kaufusi||0.2||0.6||0|
|Jack de Belin||0.8||0.5||1||Josh McGuire||0.9||0.1||0|
|Jake Trbojevic||1.4||0.4||2||Ben Hunt||0.7||0.7||0|
|Angus Crichton||0.9||1.4||0||Jarrod Wallace||1.1||0.4||1|
|Tariq Sims||0.5||0.3||0||Coen Hess||1||0.5||0|
|Tyrone Peachey||0.9||0.6||0||Tim Glasby||0.3||0||0|
Queensland win this criteria easily and, considering that this match is at their home ground, this advantage could be amplified. While the penalties conceded are close, the Blues make three extra errors and are eight times more likely – at least by these stats – to have a player binned.
Latrell Mitchell and Jake Trbojevic are both almost certain to concede a penalty in this game. Jarrod Wallace will probably do the same for the Maroons.
Jimmys Tedesco and Maloney are most likely to make an error, with Will Chambers and Daly Cherry-Evans the most likely for Queensland.
Origin experience = Queensland by a Slater
|NSW||Origin Games||QLD||Origin Games|
|James Tedesco||6||Billy Slater||30|
|Tom Trbojevic||2||Valentine Holmes||3|
|James Roberts||2||Dane Gagai||8|
|Latrell Mitchell||2||Will Chambers||8|
|Josh Addo-Carr||2||Corey Oates||5|
|James Maloney||12||Cameron Munster||3|
|Nathan Cleary||2||Daly Cherry-Evans||7|
|Paul Vaughan||2||Jai Arrow||2|
|Damien Cook||2||Andrew McCullough||2|
|David Klemmer||11||Josh Papalii||10|
|Tyson Frizell||7||Gavin Cooper||5|
|Boyd Cordner||11||Felise Kaufusi||2|
|Jack de Belin||2||Josh McGuire||10|
|Jake Trbojevic||5||Ben Hunt||3|
|Angus Crichton||2||Jarrod Wallace||4|
|Tariq Sims||0||Coen Hess||4|
|Tyrone Peachey||2||Tim Glasby||3|
The New South Welshmen have featured at least one debutant in each match of this series, with Tariq Sims the latest editon – and a deserving one. The big unit from Gerringong has had a few quiet seasons since he first burst on the scene but in the last two years he has been wonderful.
The difference in experience in this game comes down to Billy Slater’s 30 games. This will be his 31st and last, seeing him equal Brad Fittler and Wally Lewis on that number. Fairly appropriate company for a superstar like Slater.
Who is going to win and why?
You can never count out the Queenslanders, especially at home. Four times at home they’ve staved off whitewashes, yet only twice have they gone down 3-0.
However, this will be the third time. The golden era is over. The dynasty has passed.
The Blues’ new-found belief and momentum is still gathering strength but it is already too much for the weakened Maroons. Their valiant defence will be overcome by the 60th minute and the Queensland faithful will have to watch Boyd Cordner lift the shield on their home turf.
And Billy Slater’s Origin career will end as it began – with a loss.