Queensland can end on a high

  • By: Ian Millward
  • Last Updated: July 9 2014, 11:43 BST

Former Super League coach Ian Millward previews Wednesday's third game in the State Of Origin series.

Darius Boyd: Can cross the line first
Darius Boyd: Can cross the line first

NSW v Queensland (-4)

New South Wales are Origin Champions again but there is no such thing as a dead rubber in this series with QUEENSLAND bound to be chomping at the bit to get a win on the board.

There have been 15 games of this type in the past where the series has already been decided, with eight going to the victorious state and seven going to the team gunning for a sole victory.

That tells us that 3-0 dominance is hard to come by and there has been very little between these two sides in the first two games.

In fact, the Maroons have dominated the Blues defence in patches already in this series and back on home soil at the Suncorp Stadium they can end on a high with a victory in front of an emotional home crowd.

The small start of four for the Blues probably isn't going to be enough here and I fancy Queensland to cover. Cooper Cronk returns to help the attack and Greg Inglis can be the main benefactor - he's been unusually quiet in the first two matches.

However, DARIUS BOYD appeals for first tryscorer purposes. He has five tries in his last three games for Queensland at Suncorp and the home side can dominate the early ball.

Johnathan Thurston likes to play out to his left in the early exchanges and Inglis can put Boyd away on the left wing to land the profits.

In the total points market the bookies may have underestimated the potential for a points-fest. Nine of the last 11 have seen the 'unders' win but the last six games at Suncorp have averaged between 36 and 37 points and there could be more than that on Wednesday.

The players will be slightly more relaxed with the series already decided and the referee from the last game has been dropped because his 10 metres wasn't great - expect the officials on Wednesday to clamp down on any offside early in the piece.

The UK bookies set the total points line at around 36 for Wednesday's game, but I think this has the potential to go beyond that and I'll be playing the overs.

Finally, if you can get odds on the man of the match Billy Slater is worth a second look.

There has been a lot of hype around Jarred Hayne and he has been in outstanding form at full-back for NSW, but Slater can rise to that challenge and thrive in front of the Brisbane crowd.

This could open up nicely for Slater, who still has the legs to exploit any space that may come his way.

  • Posted at 1207 BST on 07/07/2014.