Origin returns to Suncorp for the series decider. The Blues are heavily favoured again but The Wolf fancies there is plenty of fight left in Queensland yet. Here are The Wolf’s best bets for State Of Origin Game III.
Game 2 of this Origin series was a mirage. Everything that could go wrong for Queensland did. Cameron Munster went down in the second minute at the hands of a questionable tackle and never returned. That meant Ben Hunt was required and he got made a complete fool of all night. Valentine Holmes struggled at fullback, seemingly unable to count. Phillip Sami was out of his depth. The pack struggled for creativity and go-forward. The Blues were also more desperate and played with a chip on their shoulder.
I doubt very much whether we are going to see a similarly inept or disparate display. Wayne Bennett has made some highly astute changes. He has finally seen the light and dumped Hunt. Corey Allen has been named on the wing for his debut but he will almost certainly play fullback with Holmes reverting to a role he is more accustomed to. Christian Welch returns and his inclusion should not be underestimated. He is a beast of a runner who can create second phase play and is a very subtle enforcer.
The Maroons also return to their home ground. And it will be rocking with the Maroons set to play in front of a full home crowd, the first team capable of same since Round 2. The Maroons have lost just one of eight series deciders at Suncorp in the last quarter century.
Brad Fittler has named an unchanged lineup from the team that won Origin II. He probably had little choice but that side still contained plenty of holes. There are concerns about the pack and the two out-of-position centres are a major worry. NSW dominated the opener but they really just took advantage of a disjointed Queensland.
The Maroons have won six of the last seven at Suncorp and the home team has won the last four series deciders.
Queensland tick a lot of boxes here. As a big home underdog, they are an outstanding bet.
The series opener had the highest State of Origin total points line in nearly 15 years so the under was an outstanding bet and it saluted fairly comfortably. It has dropped from 41.5 to 39.5 in the second game and though it went over, it was probably a tough beat for under punters considering some of the soft tries that don’t typically get scored at Origin level. There key stat to look at is just six of the last 21 live games have surpassed 34 combined points. Queensland have surpassed 18 in just two of their last 11 and will again be trying to win in a grind. None of the last four at Suncorp have topped 32. The line in this one is far too high.
Josh Addo-Carr has been close to the player of the series and has become a tryscoring machine at Origin level with eight tries in eight Origin showings. He has scored doubles in three of his last four appearances including both games this series, where he has been matched up against makeshift wingers. He is short to score but it would be a major shock if he didn’t cross.
For more try scorer tips, check out Tony McCreath’s Pie Shop for Origin 3.
Cameron Munster is a frustrated player at present with injuries hitting him hard at the business end of the season. He can often play his best football though when he has a point to prove. He will also be playing in great confidence considering how bad the Maroons went to water in his absence. There is no question he is Queensland’s key player and if the Maroons pull off the upset, it will be on the back of a sublime Munster showing.
While the top play in this game is Queensland covering the big start, they are more than capable of winning this game off the stick. The Maroons have an excellent record at Suncorp, particularly in deciders, and playing in front of a packed crowd will be a tremendous lift for a group of players starved of same all season.
SAME GAME MULTI
Queensland +6.5 / Cameron Munster Anytime Try Scorer ($7.25)
Munster scored a super try in the opener, a real opportunists four-pointer. He has scored four tries in his last seven appearances – not including last week’s cameo – so has a nose for it at present. The Maroons getting a big start is a massive confidence play.