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New South Wales
New South Wales
State of Origin 3 has arrived for 2019, as the NSW Blues look to win back-to-back titles for the first time in 14 years against an uncertain Queensland Maroons side. Join The Roar for live scores and coverage from 8:10pm (AEST).
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» Queensland Maroons player ratings
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The Blues might have lost Game 1 and been under the pump for making what seemed an unnecessary seven changes ahead of the do-or-die Game 2 in Perth, but they came away with a thumping 38-6 victory to keep things alive.
With Mitchell Pearce back for Game 3, replacing the injured Nathan Cleary at halfback, things are in the balance once again, with Queensland hardly expected to turn in another meek showing.
Pearce has had few Origin performances worthy of praise during his career, and he will be nervous heading into a decider.
The Blues will expect to win in other areas of the field tonight: the kicking game and leadership of James Maloney, the start to their sets from the outside backs, and power off the bench.
All of the New South Wales outside backs – James Tedesco, Blake Ferguson, Josh Addo-Carr, Jack Wighton and Tom Trbojevic – had over 100 running metres in Perth. It was a key difference between the sides, and in potentially slippery and greasy conditions in Sydney for the decider, it could prove to be a huge factor in Origin 3.
While Queensland haven’t gone gun-ho on making changes like the Blues did after a loss, they have been forced into a couple of big moves.
Kalyn Ponga (calf) is out, and Matt Gillett (groin) joined him in the casualty ward yesterday. Cameron Munster will move to fullback, bringing debutant Corey Norman into the halves, while David Fifita will start in the second row. Dylan Napa and Jarrod Wallace have been dropped.
Munster should be able to provide the Maroons a strong running game at the back, and while Ponga has the ability to break games open, he has been poor in the Origin series to date.
Bringing Norman into the halves also puts the pressure on Daly Cherry-Evans, who must control the kicking game and let Norman play on instinct.
While the halves are crucial, it’s Ben Hunt and his service out of dummy half, as well as David Fifita and Joe Ofahengaue – two youngsters starting in the forwards for Queensland – to stand up and deliver when the pressure is on.
The Blues are at home and seemingly just have enough going for them. With all the confidence in the world following their recent win, they should take Origin victory for the second year in a row.
NSW by 8.
Be sure to join The Roar for live coverage of the 2019 State of Origin decider from 8:10pm (AEST) and don’t forget to add a comment in the section below.
Kick-off: 8:10pm (AEST)
Venue: ANZ Stadium, Sydney
TV: Live, Channel Nine
Online: Live, 9Now
Betting: Blues $1.36, Maroons $3.25
Overall record: Played 116, Queensland 62, New South Wales 52, drawn 2
Record in deciders: Played 21, Maroons 14, Blues 7
Record at ANZ Stadium: Played 27, Blues 17, Maroons 9, drawn 1
Referees: Gerard Sutton, Ashley Klein
1. James Tedesco 2. Blake Ferguson 3. Tom Trbojevic 4. Jack Wighton 5. Josh Addo-Carr 6. James Maloney 7. Mitchell Pearce 8. Daniel Saifiti 9. Damien Cook 10. Paul Vaughan 11. Boyd Cordner 12. Tyson Frizell 13. Jake Trbojevic
Interchange: 14. Dale Finucane 15. Tariq Sims 16. Cameron Murray 17. Wade Graham
18th man: Clint Gutherson
1. Cameron Munster 2. Corey Oates 3. Michael Morgan 4. Will Chambers 5. Dane Gagai 6. Corey Norman 7. Daly Cherry-Evans 8. Joe Ofahengaue 9. Ben Hunt 10. Josh Papalii 11. Felise Kaufusi 18. Ethan Lowe 13. Josh McGuire
Interchange: 14. Moses Mbye 15. Christian Welch 16. Tim Glasby 17. David Fifita
19th man: Dylan Napa