State of Origin game three | Maroons v Blues 

Wednesday, 13 July 2022

With the series tied at one-all, the stakes couldn’t be higher as the Maroons host the Blues for the State of Origin decider on Wednesday night.

After narrowly taking out game one, the Maroons were brought back down to earth by a new-look Blues outfit in game two.

It sets up a mouth-watering contest at Suncorp Stadium – and history is on the Maroons’ side.

The last five deciders played at this venue have all gone the way of the home side.

It’s been nearly two decades since NSW prevailed in a deciding game in Brisbane – back in 2005 when Immortal Andrew Johns inspired a 32-10 win.

But after the Blues dominated game two and inflicted a 44-12 thrashing in Perth, they’ll be confident of bucking that trend.

Blues coach Brad Fittler came under fire in the lead up to game two after ringing in the changes, but it proved a masterstroke and many believe he now has the right side to close out the series.

In game two, gun pair Nathan Cleary and James Tedesco led from the front and the Maroons had no answers.

It was in stark contrast to game one when the Maroons suffocated Cleary’s kicking game and nullified Tedesco’s lethal running game. 

Additionally, the Maroons’ chances of taking this deciding game took a big hit a few days ago when Cameron Munster and Murray Taulagi were ruled out because of COVID-19. 

Broncos winger Corey Oates and Cowboys playmaker Tom Dearden both come into the Maroons squad as replacements.

The loss of Munster is a particular concern given his energy and leadership on the Origin stage.

It hasn’t been all smooth sailing for the Blues either, with Payne Haas ruled out, and then Cowboys prop Jordan McLean — who was originally named as a replacement for Haas — also ruled out of the decider through injury.

The key for the Maroons will be staying in the contest, with the Blues’ last four Origin wins coming by 24 points or more.

The Maroons will need to ambush the Blues like they did in game one, and it’ll be interesting to see if coach Billy Slater has any tricks to pull from his sleeve in an attempt to upset the visitors early.

It will be equally interesting to see if the game plan changes and Slater employs a calmer, more methodical approach rather than the chaos Munster would usually bring.

This should be a cracking contest and expect it to be tight. At the price, the Maroons with home ground advantage look the right way to bet.

Suggested bets: 1.5u Maroons win at $3.35 & 1u first try-scorer Tabuai-Fidow at $13.