State Of Origin Live NSW Blues vs Queensland Maroons Rugby League Game 03 match will be kick off at ANZ Stadium, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, Wednesday 13 July 2016 online, Time 20.00 pm (AEDT) and its broadcast on Channel Nine, Fox Sports, FOX Sports 2 & FOX Soccer Plus,Premier Sports.
With Queensland securing their tenth series victory out of the last eleven attempts with wins in the opening two games of this year’s series, attention now turns to the game three dead-rubber looming on Wednesday night. Just don’t tell anyone in Camp Blue or Maroon this game has any less meaning.
The Blues will be doing everything in their power to send Captain courageous Paul Gallen out with a win in his final game in the Origin arena, a match in which he will become the most capped NSW skipper in Origin history. They will also be looking to restore some pride in the sky blue jersey in front of their home fans at ANZ Stadium, whilst trying to further develop combinations heading into next year’s series.
The big IN for the Blues is James Tedesco in the number one jersey. The Tigers custodian has been in red-hot attacking form for the best part of 18 months now and will be tasked with igniting a struggling Blues attack that has failed to deliver the necessary points to challenge their foes from North of the border.
Originally making way for Tedesco was Matt Moylan after a couple of mixed performances in the opening two games. That was until halfback Adam Reynolds failed to prove a troublesome shoulder injury sustained in game two was up to the rigors of Origin football. Moylan has been recalled to the squad but in what capacity, only those inside the Blues camp will know until an hour before kick-off.
The most likely scenario is that Jack Bird will join the run-on side at five-eight with Moylan used as a bench utility, given Bird played the entire 2015 season at six and Moylan has never filled the role at top grade level.
Regardless of whether Moylan or Bird runs out for the opening exchanges, the role of new halfback James Maloney becomes a whole lot harder. Whilst he appears more than capable of steering a team around the park, his kicking game (both short and long) will need to rise to another level to negate the loss of Reynolds and he’ll be relying on the help of Robbie Farah and even Wade Graham to take some of the pressure off in that department.
Other changes for the Blues include Josh Dugan coming in at right centre for Dylan Walker and Wade Graham getting his chance in the seventeen in place of Greg Bird. The inclusion of Graham in the second-row sees game two star Tyson Frizell listed to start at lock with James Tamou dropping back to the bench. As was the case in game one though, don’t be surprised to see a late change with Tamou starting, Gallen pushing back to lock and wither Graham or Frizell playing from the pine.
For the Maroons, a rare chance at securing a series clean sweep awaits. Despite dominating for the majority of this Maroon dynasty which kicked off in 2006, the 2010 series was the only year this champion team managed to record a 3-0 series victory. The senior playing group will be using this rare shot at history to help get them up for this game.
Whilst most of the spotlight has been on Paul Gallen playing his last Origin game, his long-time rival at the base of the scrum Corey Parker will also be donning State colours for the last time and rest assured, his teammates will be hell-bent on sending him out with a farewell victory of his own.
The Maroons have been forced into a couple of rare changes for game three following injuries to interchange men Michael Morgan and Josh Papalii. Whilst the utility value of Morgan is a blow, the real loss here is that of Papalii. The Raiders back-rower has been a constant rock through the middle for the Maroons in the opening two games and could prove a bigger loss than many people think.
Coming into the squad is 30 game veteran Nate Myles and 30 year old debutante Gavin Cooper. The inclusion of Myles as starting prop will see Josh McGuire back in the interchange roll alongside Cooper who looks set to extend his left-side combination with Cowboys team-mate Johnathan Thurston when he hits the pitch.
NSW Blues: James Tedesco, Blake Ferguson, Josh Dugan, Michael Jennings, Josh Mansour, James Maloney, Adam Reynolds, Paul Gallen, Robbie Farah, Aaron Woods, Wade Graham, Josh Jackson, Tyson Frizell. Bench: Jack Bird, David Klemmer, Andrew Fifita, James Tamou
Queensland Maroons: Darius Boyd, Corey Oates, Greg Inglis, Justin O’Neill, Dane Gagai, Johnathan Thurston, Cooper Cronk, Matt Scott, Cameron Smith (c), Nate Myles, Sam Thaiday, Matt Gillett, Corey Parker. Interchange: Josh McGuire, Gavin Cooper, Aidan Guerra, Jacob Lillyman.