Match Winner

Wednesday 11th July, 8:00PM AEST – Suncorp Stadium

New South Wales wrapped up just their second series in 13 at ANZ in Sydney and are on the verge of their first sweep since 2000 at Suncorp.

Queensland are in a state of disarray, losing skipper Greg Inglis and rising star Kalyn Ponga. Daly Cherry-Evans is a surprise recall while the tinkering with the forward pack suggests panic without answers. The Blues, if anything, have strengthened their team by replacing Matt Prior with Tariq Sims.

Queensland go in home underdogs for the first time since 2006 and home underdogs have a great recent record in Origin with four covers in the last five. Underdogs overall have covered 7 of the last 10.

It is impossible to look past NSW in this one though. Their speed has carved Queensland up all series and their kicking game has kept the Maroons on the backfoot. Suncorp could not suit Queensland any less here and the team changes have their preparation in disarray. This is a situation the Blues would typically let slide but Brad Fittler is a different cat and he knows what this means for next series and beyond.

A total blowout would not shock here.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – New South Wales to Win

Match Total

The over is a confident play here in this dead-rubber. Three of the last four dead-rubber Origins have topped 40 points and on a fast Suncorp track the points are expected to flow. Suncorp has traditionally scored higher with the last five at the ground all topping 28 points with nine of the last 11 surpassing the mark. Nine of the last 10 Origins have topped 28 points and they have primarily been live matches so this shapes as a game that is going to be free-flowing.

 BACK – Over 35.5

Man of the Match

Damien Cook has been outstanding in his debut series and selectors have made a habit over the last decade of rewarding players who were deserving earlier in the series with a gong later, particularly if that player could win player of the series honours. Cook was sensational in the series opener and would have won Man of the Match honours in nearly any other Origin but ran into a perfect game from James Tedesco. The fast Suncorp track will suit his running game and he is going as well as any player in the NRL.

 BACK – Damien Cook MOTM

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