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State of Origin Game 3 Preview and Team News - New South Wales to complete Origin series whitewash over Queensland

Andrew Hendrie 4 Jul 2018
  • Queensland play host to New South Wales in Game 3 of the 2018 State of Origin series on Wednesday night
  • NSW looking to win first Origin series clean sweep over QLD since 2000
QLD host NSW on Wednesday night

New South Wales target a first State of Origin clean sweep over Queensland since 2000 when the two sides square off in Game 3 at Suncorp Stadium on Wednesday July 11.

It’s been 18 long years since NSW have completed a State of Origin whitewash over Queensland - is this the time for the Blues to celebrate a 3-0 triumph on Maroons soil?

With Queensland enjoying an unprecedented decade-long dominance inside the Origin arena, the Maroons have come crashing back down to earth in 2018, mostly because their ‘Big Four’ of Cameron Smith, Jonathan Thurston, Cooper Cronk and Billy Slater have been broken up.

Smith, Thurston and Cronk of course announced their representative retirements at various stages over the last 12 months, while Slater - who’s set to captain Queensland in Game 3 - will play his last Origin game on Wednesday night.

It’s safe to day the bulk of Queensland’s wins over the last decade can be attributed to the aforementioned foursome - and that’s not to take away from anyone else involved in those series wins, but Origin is decided by fine margins and that little bit extra class in the crucial moments - and on countless occasions, Smith, Thurston, Cronk and Slater delivered when the Maroons needed them most.

I’m actually surprised at how close Queensland have kept New South Wales in the two games of the 2018 series as a result - I expected the Blues to win this series at a canter, but they were made to dig themselves out of some nervous moments in Game 2 - something that they failed to do this time last year.

Full credit to New South Wales and new coach Brad Fittler - his unorthodox approach brought together more than 10 players making their Origin debuts and they clicked right from the get-go - that’s not an easy thing to do, especially in Origin, when you have less time to prepare.

With NSW making just one change and Queensland forced into quite a few, I think the Blues are primed to make this a 3-0 series whitewash - and to do it on foreign territory will make it all that more sweeter.

Given how the Maroons have dug in and kept the first two games relatively close, I expect them to do the same in front of their home fans, who are getting their first and only taste of Origin this year in a dead rubber. But, at the end of the day, NSW have the better team and that will be reflected by a 3-0 clean sweep on Wednesday night.

Stats


  • Queensland have won four of the last five Origins at Suncorp
  • Maroons won seven of the last eight Origin Game 3s
  • NSW going for their first 3-0 Origin series win over Queensland since 2000

Teams


Daly Cherry-Evans returns from the State of Origin wilderness to play his first game for Queensland since 2015 as coach Kevin Walters searches for more creativity in the halves, pushing Ben Hunt back to the utility role on the bench after rising star Kalyn Ponga was forced out with a hamstring injury.

Captain Greg Inglis is also out with a broken thumb, with Billy Slater receiving the skipping duties, Dane Gagai shifting into centre and Corey Oates coming into the side on the wing. Dylan Napa is battling a knee injury and has been named 18th man, with Tim Glasby receiving a call-up onto the bench.

NSW have made just the one change to Game 2’s victorious team, with Tariq Sims set to make his Origin debut in place of Matt Prior.

Queensland: 1. Billy Slater (c) (Melbourne Storm), 2. Valentine Holmes (Cronulla Sharks), 3. Dane Gagai (South Sydney Rabbitohs), 4. Will Chambers (Melbourne Storm), 5. Corey Oates (Brisbane Broncos), 6. Cameron Munster (Melbourne Storm), 7. Daly Cherry-Evans (Manly Sea Eagles), 8. Jai Arrow (Gold Coast Titans), 9. Andrew McCullough (Brisbane Broncos), 10. Josh Papalii (Canberra Raiders), 11. Gavin Cooper (North Queensland Cowboys), 12. Felise Kaufusi (Melbourne Storm), 13. Josh McGuire (Brisbane Broncos)

Interchange: 14. Ben Hunt (St George Illawarra Dragons), 15. Jarrod Wallace (Gold Coast Titans), 16. Coen Hess (North Queensland Cowboys), 17. Tim Glasby (Melbourne Storm), 18. Dylan Napa (Sydney Roosters)

New South Wales: 1. James Tedesco (Sydney Roosters), 2. Tom Trbojevic (Manly Warringah Sea Eagles), 3. Latrell Mitchell (Sydney Roosters), 4. James Roberts (Brisbane Broncos), 5. Josh Addo-Carr (Melbourne Storm), 6. James Maloney (Penrith Panthers), 7. Nathan Cleary (Penrith Panthers), 8. David Klemmer (Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs), 9. Damien Cook (South Sydney Rabbitohs), 10. Paul Vaughan (St George Illawarra Dragons), 11. Boyd Cordner (c) (Sydney Roosters), 12. Tyson Frizell (St George Illawarra Dragons), 13. Jack de Belin (St George Illawarra Dragons)

Interchange: 14. Tariq Sims (St George Illawarra Dragons), 15. Jake Trbojevic (Manly Warringah Sea Eagles), 16. Angus Crichton (South Sydney Rabbitohs), 17. Tyrone Peachey (Penrith Panthers), 18. Ryan James (Gold Coast Titans)

Shadow players: Luke Keary (Sydney Roosters), Matt Prior (Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks)

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State of Origin Game 3 Preview and Team News - New South Wales to complete Origin series whitewash over Queensland

New South Wales target a first State of Origin clean sweep over Queensland since 2000 when the two sides square off in Game 3 at Suncorp Stadium on Wednesday July 11.

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