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“Dangerous” Maroons put NSW on red alert

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5th July, 2021
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Just as NSW have taken a battering on the injury front, Blues coach Brad Fittler concedes Queensland have named their most threatening team of the State of Origin series.

The Blues will be without pack leader Daniel Saifiti as well as dynamo halves Jarome Luai and Nathan Cleary in Game 3 as the Blues attempt their first series clean sweep since 2000.

The squad will come into camp in Kingscliff on Tuesday where the Blues prepared for a series-winning 26-0 victory over Queensland.

However, they will do so without three of their strike weapons just as the Maroons have gathered some luck of their own on the injury front.

The inclusion of Kalyn Ponga at fullback as well as North Queensland speedster Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow will add spark to the back line, with Fittler admitting the Maroons look dangerous.

Kalyn Ponga in State of Origin colours for Queensland.

Kalyn Ponga of Queensland. (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images)

“I can see there’s some real tactics behind Hamiso in the centres, and Kurt Capewell moves into the back row into his favourite position,” Fittler said.

“We’re not sure if David Fifita gets to play yet. I’m sure that’ll be resolved over the next day or so, but I definitely feel this is their strongest side.

“With AJ Brimson coming off the bench, he adds a lot.

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“I saw what he did with the Titans on the weekend, they were awesome.

“They look much more dangerous.”

Fifita is fighting a dangerous contact charge at the NRL judiciary on Tuesday night in order to line up for the Maroons next Wednesday in the dead rubber.

The location of the match is yet to be decided, although Newcastle has been considered the front-runner to land the game.

Although the Blues already have the series already wrapped up after two huge wins in Queensland, Fittler is stressing the importance of history in claiming a 3-0 result.

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A win for the Blues would be the first series clean sweep for a NSW side since 2000.

“It’s a great team. We’ve lost a few players, which makes the challenge harder, but to be a great team you need to be able to do it when it doesn’t always count,” he said.

“This is the greatest challenge of our year this year.”

© AAP

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