Origin decider could go either way
Punters face a real dilemma reading the form coming into rugby league’s massive State of Origin decider on Wednesday night.
Chasing an unprecedented seventh straight series win and playing on their home track at Suncorp Stadium, the Maroons are rightly four-point favourites at sportingbet.com.au.
But when you consider NSW dominated the early stages of game one and won game two, there is strong case to mount for the Blues to end their long winning run.
Add to that the fact Queensland is now without their most potent strike weapon – injured fullback Billy Slater – and you can see why Ricky Stuart and his men are confident they can finally stop the rot.
To be played before a sellout crowd at Suncorp Stadium, the game shapes as a classic – and there’s unlikely to be much between the teams at the finish.
The Queenslanders are desperate to send veteran prop Petero Civoniceva out of Origin as a winner and that will be a huge motivational spur for the home side.
But it can also work both ways – as former Test coach Chris Anderson told me this week.
“They will be keen but it could work against them – they could be tense and tight with so much at stake for Petero,” Anderson said.
Petero would love nothing better than crossing the stripe for a try – but backing him for the first try at $67 is strictly one for the sentimentalists out there.
The Blues appear to have the edge up front, where the likes of Paul Gallen, Greg Bird and James Tamou set a great platform in games one and two.
But the Maroons have more experience and creativity in the halves, with Johnathan Thurston and Cooper Cronk holding a clear advantage over Todd Carney and Mitchell Pearce.
Out wide, NSW has re-united the Morris twins – Brett and Josh – and their combination could prove a trump card in what promises to be an enthralling game from Wednesday at 8pm.1,171 views