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The Roar's State of Origin expert tips and predictions Game III: Queensland whitewash or Blues redemption?

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Editor
11th July, 2023
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Hey Roarers!

Well, they’ve done it again. After a 26-18 victory in Adelaide, the reining champions Queensland retain the title for another year after a dominating 32-6 win over the Blues in front of a packed Suncorp Stadium in Game II.

While the Maroons may have wrapped up the series, don’t think for one second that we are not in for a cracker of a contest tonight. Billy and his boys want to take out a clean sweep while NSW are playing for pride and many including Brad Fittler have their Origin futures on the line.

Coming as no surprise to anyone, Freddy made 1000 changes to the Blues side, with Jarome Luai, Hudson Young, Junior Paulo, Tyson Frizell, Stefano Utikamanu and Matt Burton all cut to make way for Cody Walker, RCG, Keaon Koloamatangi, Jacob Saifiti and Clint Gutherson and Scott Drinkwater. Payne Haas and Turbo were ruled out with injury, with Jurbo and Bradman Best called up to fill the gap.

With Reece Walsh currently in the naughty corner, AJ Brimson has been called up to wear the number one jersey for Queensland. And Corey Horsburgh makes his long-awaited debut for the Maroons on the bench with Tom Flegler ruled out due to injury.

From heroics and heartache, boom boxes and badly judged social media posts – this series has had it all.

How will the final chapter be written? Will the Maroons accept the 2023 shield following a clean sweep or a loss? Will the Blues take back some pride with a victory or be embarrassed by a 3-0 whitewash in front of their home crowd?

There is still so much left to play for.

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The Roar’s experts have given their tips for both games, remember to get your tips in by 5pm if you would like to be part of the Crowd’s tips.

Michael Hagan

Queensland by 8

First try scorer – AJ Brimson

Wally Lewis Medal – Daly Cherry-Evans

Another seamless preparation and two quality players have come in with AJ Brimson and Corey Horsborough. Motivation for a 3-0 win is extremely high and the standards are being set by their coach Billy Slater and his senior players DCE, Cam Munster and Ben Hunt.

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Mary Konstantopoulos

Queensland by 12

First-try scorer – Bradman Best

Wally Lewis Medal – Daly Cherry-Evans 

Queensland have been brilliant during this State of Origin series. Billy Slater has a clear plan for the team and for each one of his players and we’ve seen several players step up this year including Lindsay Collins. This team will want to make a statement and win this final game for a clean sweep.

The Blues have made a lot of changes and whilst I think Cody Walker and Mitch Moses are a solid halves pairing, I think there has been too much chopping and changing of the squad for there to be a clear plan. The bench is also confusing and I have no idea how Fittler is going to use it. 

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Stuart Thomas

New South Wales by 8

First-try scorer: Cameron Murray

Wally Lewis Medal: Jake Trbojevic

I’m still not sure why this game is even played. The air in the series has been popped and the Blues will win the dead rubber as the only team with something to play for. I took the Maroons in the opening two matches and am siding with the Blues based on a desperate coach and team that have something to prove. 

Paul Suttor

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Queensland by 20

First-try scorer – Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow

Wally Lewis Medal – Liam Martin … in the tradition of past years when the selectors totally arsed this up by giving it to a player on the losing side, the Penrith forward has been the Blues’ best player.

Queensland look stronger, more settled and eager to complete their first whitewash in 13 years. The Blues look disorganised, panicky and deserve to cop their first whitewash in 13 years. 

Tim Gore

Queensland by 14

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First-try scorer – Murray Tualagi

Wally Lewis Medal – Lindsay Collins

While Freddie has made some improvements to the Blues side – Murray to lock especially – the side is still bizarre. Dropping Junior Paulo astounds me. I’m not sure there is a plan. I doubt they’ll be able to overcome the Maroons. 

Mike Meehal Wood

Queensland by 10

First-try scorer – Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow

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Wally Lewis Medal – Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow

History would suggest a NSW win here, simply because sweeps don’t happen very often. Yet I can’t see how this team, which is worse than the team that lost Game 2 and a lot worse than the team that lost Game 3, is meant to win.

Queensland will turn up, play hard, take their opportunities and thus be better.

As for the Wally Lewis Medal – it’s hard to pick. There’s been no standout in both the games so far, with Queensland forwards winning the games collectively more than through one individual performance. The Hammer has been excellent in both appearances, so I’ll back him in for a third to take the gong.

AJ Mithen

Queensland by 4

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First-try scorer – Corey Horsbrough

Wally Lewis Medal – Daly Cherry-Evans

I’ve got Queensland for the whitewash mainly cos the Blues have been in complete disarray from before the season started. Under Brad Fittler they’re not organised or consistent, whereas Billy Slater has been setting the scene not just with rara and speeching, but with the plays on the field. Queensland are laser-like in their attack compared to Fittler’s ‘do what you feel’ approach. Daly Cherry-Evans gets the player of the series for mine. His last couple of Origin years have been magnificent.

Danielle Smith

Queensland by 10

First-try scorer – Harry Grant

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Wally Lewis Medal – Reuben Cotter

I’ve tipped them all series, and I’m not going to stop now.

The teams just seem worlds apart. NSW tell anyone who will listen how important combination matter then chop and change on a whim. Queensland have been in control even before the first side was announced and have not let go of the wheel since.

The Maroons will take out the first series whitewash since 2010.

Origin 3AJDanielleMaryMikePaulMichaelTimStuartCrowd
TipQLDQLDQLDQLDQLDQLDQLDNSW ?
Margin4101210208148 ?
First tryHorsboroughGrantBestTabuai-FidowTabuai-FidowBrimsonTaulagiMurray ?
WLMDCECotterDCETabuai-FidowMartinDCECollinsTrbojevic ?
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